Figure 3. Macro-micro levels of the water-energy nexus, considering desalination.
The natural potential of Chile—solar energy and 8 km of coastline—make the implementation of small-scale reverse osmosis desalination plants (RODPs) in coastal areas energetically supported with photovoltaic systems (PVs) feasible. This work considers a survey of the plants in Chile. As a demonstration of a RODP, a technical/economic evaluation is carried out, analyzing four possible cases in which different energy configurations are proposed: electric grid, diesel generator, and photovoltaic systems, without or with batteries. Finally, the challenges and opportunities of these plants are presented. The results obtained indicate that there are 39 plants in operation, which produce an average permeate water flow of Qp 1715 m3d−1. Solar Explorer, and Homer Pro software are used for a plant that generates 8 m3day−1 of permeate water, resulting in the conclusion that Case 3 is the most economically viable, as it has a useful life of 20 years and will have an annual solar contribution of more than 65%. The levelized cost of water production is 0.56 USDm−3 (RODP/PV) and 0.02 USDkW−1h−1 was obtained for the LCOE. Finally, this case contributes to the mitigation of climate change.
CitationCornejo-Ponce, L.; Vilca-Salinas, P.; Arenas-Herrera, M.J.; Moraga-Contreras, C.; Tapia-Caroca, H.; Kukulis-Martínez, S. Small-Scale Solar-Powered Desalination Plants: A Sustainable Alternative Water-Energy Nexus to Obtain Water for Chile’s Coastal Areas. Energies 2022, 15, 9245. https://doi.org/10.3390/en1523...
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