Techno-economic evaluation of a solar powered water desalination plant

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Water desalination technologies and their possible coupling with solar energy have been evaluated. The topic is of particular interest, especially for countries located within the Southern Mediterranean belt, generally characterized with vast arid and isolated areas having practically no access to electric power from the national grid. Economic factors being one of the main barriers to diffusion of solar devices so far, an attempt has been made to estimate the water production cost for two different seawater desalination systems: reverse osmosis and multiple effect, powered by a solar thermal and a photovoltaic field, respectively. The results obtained for plants of capacity varying between 500 and 5000 m3/d have been compared to results concerning a conventional desalination system. In addition, the influences of various parameters, such as depreciation factor, economic incentives, PV modules cost and oil price, have also been considered. © 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2217 - 2240
Number of pages24
JournalEnergy Conversion and Management
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2003


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Fuel Technology
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment

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