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Desalination of groundwater using reverse osmosis coupled to a windmill

Robinson, Roderick Q. (1990) Desalination of groundwater using reverse osmosis coupled to a windmill. PhD thesis, Murdoch University.

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Reverse osmosis (RO) has the potential to fulfill the requirements of reliability, small size and low energy input suitable for remote area drinking water desalination by linking this technology to a standard multi-vane windmill pump. The research contained in this Masters thesis covers the design, construction, field testing and performance analysis of a prototype windpowered RO desalination system set up at a site near Murdoch University, Western Australia. The prototype was run from July 1988 for thirteen months, yielding 3348 hours of usable windspeed, direction input data, and desalinated water output data. This data has been analysed and the performance determined for the test site wind regime.

Once performance data was obtained under the measured wind regime, a projection of expected performance using wind data from other areas was constructed to establish the performance of the system in remote settings. The performance projection is based on a production model using variables measured during the test period, which are quantified and matched to the wind characteristics of any site as determined by its windspeed distribution curve. All data is entered into a spreadsheet programme, which calculates the projected performance.

Fouling by feedwater contaminants represents another area of potential problems in RO desalination. The Masters research seeks to address this problem by investigating fouling, both by a literature review and experimentation. The solution to the problem is to adopt a number of pretreatment systems and design solutions which minimize fouling in RO systems.

The thesis draws together these two areas of investigation to predict the performance and pretreatment requirements for groundwater desalinations in a typical remote setting in Western Australia.

Publication Type: Thesis (PhD)
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Biological and Environmental Sciences
Notes: A digital copy of this thesis is not available. Your library can request a copy from Murdoch University Library via Document Delivery. A fee applies to this service.
UNSD Goals: Goal 6: Clean Water and Sanitation
Supervisor: Ho, Goen and Mathew, Kuruvilla
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