Regions and countries worldwide are experiencing extreme water scarcity and must rely on desalination plants for freshwater supply. The technology is both expensive and energy demanding. However, a group of energy experts are currently working on an innovative, sustainable desalination system that will run on Concentrated Solar Power instead of gas – the DESOLINATION project.
The name, DESOLINATION, is an abbreviation of the working title: Demonstration of concentrated solar power coupled with advanced desalination system in the gulf region. The project is part of the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and is conducted by a group consisting of 19 project partners from 13 countries. One of the partners is the Danish renewable energy and storage specialist Aalborg CSP.
Coupling of Concentrated Solar Power with an innovative desalination system
The DESOLINATION project aims at efficiently coupling the low-grade waste heat of two different Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) cycles with an innovative desalination system based on Forward-Osmosis (FO) for the efficient production of both green electricity and freshwater. The main objective is to decarbonise the desalination process in arid regions, thereby contributing to a substantial reduction of CO2 emission from desalination. Moreover, the goal is to improve the attractiveness of renewable desalination systems within the GCC countries.
Aalborg CSP leading the first work package
Aalborg CSP is responsible for leading the first work package (WP1). In WP1, the general and main specifications of the project are determined and validated through the project’s key performance indicators (KPIs). This includes e.g., power cycle size and integration scheme, solar resource availability, thermal power characterization from the existing CSP plant (amount of heat and heat transfer fluid), land available for the prototype, seawater characterization, definition of subsystems’ efficiencies (e.g. heat exchangers), purity of the produced water, and brine concentration requirements.
Aalborg CSP has more than 30 years of engineering experience, utilizing its immense expertise within design and delivery of boilers, complex systems, renewable energy technologies, and energy storages. The company, therefore, has a deep understanding of individual energy needs, technology- and system integration as well as optimization with key competencies such as performance modelling and system design – competencies, which are all put to use in the DESOLINATION project.
The DESOLINATION demonstration plant in Saudi Arabia already hosts a 100kWe air Bryton cycle that will be coupled with the innovative FO desalination system. A 1MWe CO2 blends power cycle will likewise be installed on-site and demonstrated alongside the existing power plant.
The World Utilities Congress in May
Aalborg CSP will be participating in the World Utilities Congress taking place in Abu Dhabi, UAE from 9-11 of May 2022. The company is among the key speakers at the congress and will introduce the attendees to the DESOLINATION project. Besides presenting, Aalborg CSP will also exhibit at the congress.