Impact of energy fluctuation on permeate quality in autonomous and directly coupled renewable energy powered nanofiltration and reverse osmosis systems

Conference Dates

September 11-16, 2016


Autonomous membrane systems provide a unique opportunity to overcome challenges of lacking or dysfunctional water supply, sewage and electricity infrastructure which is the case in many rural areas worldwide1. Membrane technology provides a unique advantage where water is available yet through predominantly dissolved contaminants such as TDS, fluoride, arsenic, uranium, nitrate and many other inorganic as well as organic contaminants not usable. Coupling membrane processes directly to renewable energies such as wind or photovoltaics is important to realise robust and decentralised systems for remote areas. However this poses particular challenges in terms of system operation, maintenance, as well as water quality2.

Following several years of laboratory studies as well as field work with real waters the impact of such fluctuation has been studied for short term operation with a unique system3,4. To do so, the nature of fluctuations for both wind and solar resources was investigated to understand the impact on the membrane system5,6. This information was then transferred into suitable experimental protocols to study the amplitude, frequency and intermittency of fluctuations in a systematic manner7. In the process the resulting operation – and the safe operating window – was determined as a function of minimum power requirements2. Short term energy buffering was investigated via super-capacitor banks8.

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