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The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde's Open Access research outputs. Strathprints provides access to thousands of Open Access research papers by University of Strathclyde researchers, including by researchers from the Department of Computer & Information Sciences involved in mathematically structured programming, similarity and metric search, computer security, software systems, combinatronics and digital health.

The Department also includes the iSchool Research Group, which performs leading research into socio-technical phenomena and topics such as information retrieval and information seeking behaviour.

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A photovoltaic-powered seawater reverse-osmosis system without batteries

Infield, D.G. (2004) A photovoltaic-powered seawater reverse-osmosis system without batteries. Solar Energy, 776. pp. 909-916. ISSN 0038-092X

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Abstract

An efficient cost-effective batteryless photovoltaic-powered seawater reverse-osmosis desalination system is described. The system has a modest 2.4 kWp photovoltaic array and yet promises to deliver 3 m3/d throughout the year in an example location in Eritrea, operating from borehole seawater (at 40,000 ppm). Existing demonstrations of photovoltaic-powered desalination generally employ lead-acid batteries, which allow the equipment to operate at constant flow. In practice however, batteries are notoriously problematic, especially in hot climates. The system employed here operates at variable flow, enabling it to make efficient use of the naturally varying solar resource, without need of batteries. The system employs standard industrial inverters, motors and pumps, which offer excellent energy and cost efficiency. Maximum power point tracking (MPPT) for the photovoltaic array is provided by a novel and extremely simple control algorithm, developed by CREST. Performance and cost estimates from laboratory testing and extensive modelling are presented.