Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Solar desalination in the southwest United States: A thermoeconomic analysis utilizing the sun to desalt water in high irradiance regions
by Stroud, Matthew, M.S., The University of Arizona, 2012, 102; 1513398
Abstract (Summary)

Water scarcity and high irradiance overlap in the southwestern United States. This thesis explores solar energy as a method to power desalination in the Southwest. Ten solar desalination plants were modeled using photovoltaic reverse osmosis and concentrated solar thermal multi-effect distillation. Seawater and brackish water were considered, as well as liquid and zero liquid discharge plants. Using borrowed capital amortization, levelized energy costs were estimated to be 0.067 $/kWh-electric for photovoltaic systems and 0.009 $/kWh-heat for thermal systems. Photovoltaic reverse osmosis with liquid plant waste showed the best short-term financials while optimal long-term solar desalination methods were shown to be arbitrary, limited by solar conversion and desalination thermodynamics. A conceptualization and proof of desalination minimum work is presented. This study concludes that solar desalination cost remains higher than conservation, but has considerable potential as a new source of water in the Southwest, filling the gap between overdraft and renewable supply.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Bradley, Michael
Commitee: Ferre, Ty, Washburne, Jim
School: The University of Arizona
Department: Hydrology
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: MAI 50/06M, Masters Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Hydrologic sciences, Economics, Engineering
Keywords: Desalintion, Solar, Southwest united states, Themoeconomics, Thermodynamics, Water resources
Publication Number: 1513398
ISBN: 9781267427274
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