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Solar and wind powered desalination for remote communities

Harrison, D., Robinson, R., Ho, G.E. and Mathew, K. (1991) Solar and wind powered desalination for remote communities. In: Proceedings of the 14th Federal Convention of the Australian Water and Wastewater Association, 17 - 22 March, Perth, Western Australia pp. 182-191.

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The Remote Area Developments Group of Murdoch University has been investigating the technology of Reverse Osmosis, powered by both photovoltaic panels and windmills, as a means of desalinating drinking water for remote communities. A small RO unit featuring energy recovery has been tested while connected to a solar panel. Daily pumping durations have been extended dramatically by the use of a robust, maintenance free solar tracker and an inexpensive pump optimiser, eliminating the need for batteries or electronic controllers. The Group is developing a larger unit with the aim of producing up to 1000 L/day of fresh water from two solar panels. The design, construction, field testing and performance analysis of a prototype windpowered reverse osmosis (RO) desalination system for remote areas is also discussed. Based on the field tests, a performance model is derived which allows for the prediction of the prototype production given the wind and water characteristics of any location.

Publication Type: Conference Paper
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Environmental Science
Publisher: Australian Water and Wastewater Association
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