TASK VI: Solar Energy and Water Processes and Applications

Operating Agent:

Diego Alarcón, Ciemat, Spain

Nature of Work & Objectives

Task VI was created to provide the solar energy industry, the water sector and electricity sectors, governments, renewable energy organizations and related institutions in general with the most suitable and accurate information on the technical possibilities for effectively applying solar radiation to water processes, replacing the use of conventional energies.

The need for development of this specific area of solar energy arises from the serious water problems expected in many areas of the world during the coming decades. With the added prospects of increasing energy costs, it makes good sense to seriously consider the use of solar energy to solve or palliate water problems. Specific technological development will be required for this.

The scope of work covers all solar radiation technologies supplying either thermal or photon primary energy for water treatment. Processes and applications included in the scope of the Task are the following:

Brackish and seawater desalination: development of technical procedures and methodologies for removing or reducing the salt content from water using solar energy as primary energy source.

Solar power and water cogeneration plants: effective integration of desalination technologies into solar power plants.

Water detoxification: Removal of organic compounds, heavy metals and/or hazardous substances in general from water.

Water disinfection: Control and/or elimination of pathogenic populations from water for human or animal consumption or irrigation.

The purpose of this Task is to improve the conditions for solar water treatment market introduction and solve water problems at locations with abundant solar energy resources, while contributing to reduced fossil-fuel consumption. The main specific focus of the activities and initiatives addressed is to demonstrate the potential of solar energy for such water applications.


Organization and Structure

Task VI is organized into the following three domains or subtasks:

Subtask A: Concentrating Solar Power and Desalination Plants.
Subtask B: Independent Solar Thermal Desalination Systems (kW-SIZE)
Subtask C: Solar Water Detoxification And Disinfection Systems.

Task Reports

Assessment of CSP+D Potential in the MENA Area: (pdf)

The report summarizes findings of a study on the potential of different combinations of CSP with desalination plants in the MENA Area.