Justification of village scale photovoltaic powered electrodialysis desalination systems for rural India
Author(s)Wright, Natasha C. (Natasha Catherine)
Justification of village scale PV powered ED desalination systems for rural India
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Mechanical Engineering.
Amos G. Winter, V.
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This thesis justifies photovoltaic (PV)-powered electrodialysis (ED) as an energy and cost-effective means of desalinating groundwater in rural India and presents the design requirements for a village-level system. Saline groundwater, which underlies 60% of India, can negatively impact health as well as cause a water source to be discarded because of its taste. A quarter of India's population lives in villages of 2000-5000 people, many of whom do not have reliable access to electricity. Most village-scale, ongrid desalination plants use reverse osmosis (RO), which is economically unviable in off-grid locations. Technical and ethnographic factors are used to develop an argument for PV-ED for rural locations, including: system capacity, biological and chemical contaminant removal; water aesthetics; recovery ratio; energy source; economics of water provision; maintenance; and the energetic and cost considerations of available technologies. Within the salinity range of groundwater in India, ED requires less specific energy than RO (75% less at 1,000 ppm and 30% less at 3,000 ppm). At 2,000 ppm, this energetic scaling translates to a 50% lower PV power system cost for ED versus RO. PV-ED has the potential to greatly expand the reach of desalination units for rural India. Additionally, a theoretical model for an electrodialysis system is presented and validated through experimental trials.
Thesis: S.M., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Mechanical Engineering, 2014.Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (pages 67-74).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Mechanical Engineering.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology