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Analysis of a small-scale desalination unit powered by renewable energy

Brain, Josephine (2018) Analysis of a small-scale desalination unit powered by renewable energy. Honours thesis, Murdoch University.

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This thesis explores the function of various desalination techniques, investigating the best suited for a small-scale portable seawater desalination unit that can be powered by solar energy. The renewable energy device investigated throughout this thesis is a thin film foldable solar panel, the performance of this panel has been tested practically and theoretically.

The developed LabVIEW program runs fast calculations in order to find the desalination units permeate output, the salinity of the permeate and the number of solar panels required to power the unit for a specified location. This creates a user friendly, fast location analysis. The lowest performing location within Australia for this small scale portable solar powered unit is Hobart where the minimum permeate produced is 23.2 litres per day able to supply a maximum 11 people with their daily water requirements, based on the WHO minimum drinking water consumption per day of 2L [5].

Areas, where this system can apply, are disaster regions where a number of people have been cut off from their regular water supply, this system has the possibility to operate for small sized communities in remote areas.

Item Type: Thesis (Honours)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Physical Sciences, Engineering and Technology
United Nations SDGs: Goal 6: Clean Water and Sanitation
Goal 7: Affordable and Clean Energy
Supervisor(s): Parlevliet, David
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