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Improvement of water supply in remote communities by reverse osmosis coupled to a windmill

Ho, G.E.ORCID: 0000-0001-9190-8812, Hubbard, G.S. and Robinson, R. (1988) Improvement of water supply in remote communities by reverse osmosis coupled to a windmill. In: Proceedings of the Conference on Science and Technology for Remote Communities, 18 - 19 July, Murdoch University, Murdoch, W.A Paper 2.3.

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The application of reverse osmosis to remote area desalination is not a new concept. Various agencies have set up studies and pilot trials in Australia and overseas have been conducted and have generally concluded that unreliability and high capital costs are the limiting factors in the use of this type of technology (Feron, 1985; James, 1985; Commisseriate a' l'Energie Atomique, 1982; Funsten, 1984; Laing, 1985; Berryman & Frith, 1983). However, the membranes available on the market, and the systems engineering in adapting membranes to specific uses, are increasing the effectiveness and reliability of reverse osmosis as a water treatment process (Fell, 1985; Hubbard, 1986).

Recent innovations in membrane design have produced types which are low rejection and low pressure, which may be suited to remote applications using renewable energy sources, referred to as the 'nanofiltration' family of membranes.

Collaboration between Memtec Ltd, a company working with reverse osmosis membrane systems, and Murdoch University has led to the developn1ent of a prototype design of a small-scale, low pressure renewable energy pumped system which is presently undergoing evaluation at Murdoch University. This system has the potential to fulfill the requirements of reliability, small size and low energy input suitable for remote area use.

Item Type: Conference Paper
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Environmental Science
Publisher: Institute for Environmental Science and Technology Policy, Murdoch University
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