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Analysis and optimisation through mathematical modelling: Muresk farm photovoltaic reverse osmosis water treatment plant

Young, Clinton (2020) Analysis and optimisation through mathematical modelling: Muresk farm photovoltaic reverse osmosis water treatment plant. Honours thesis, Murdoch University.

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Abstract

Photovoltaic reverse osmosis water treatment units can be deployed into remote regions to provide remote communities with a clean water source without the need for on site electricity supply to operate. Optimisation of these units has the potential to maximise the output of purified water and to improve the overall effectiveness of the PVRO unit once it has been deployed. The aim of this project is to develop a mathematical model for the optimisation of the Muresk PVRO unit. This is achieved using a local monitoring system that can log the operational data of the PVRO unit and utilising this data to validate and tune a Microsoft Excel based mathematical model of the Muresk PVRO unit.

In this project an ESP32 microcontroller running an Arduino program was used to log the electrical and water flow data from the PVRO unit to a ThingSpeak IOT portal and a local SD card. A mathematical model of the Muresk PVRO system was developed, and two months of data were compared with the data from the monitoring unit to tune and validate the model. With the model tuned the mathematical model was used to investigate optimising the PVRO output by adjusting the tilt angle of the solar array. By increasing the array tilt from 30 degrees to 45-degrees the daily minimum output improved by 9% with a marginal loss of 1% to the annual water output. This increases the suitability of the unit to applications where a consistent output of clean water is more desired than just maximising the annual output.

Item Type: Thesis (Honours)
Murdoch Affiliation: Engineering and Energy
United Nations SDGs: Goal 6: Clean Water and Sanitation
Supervisor(s): Anda, Martin
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/57216
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