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Water 2018, 10(8), 1024; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10081024

Evaluating Energy and Cost Requirements for Different Configurations of Off-Grid Rainwater Harvesting Systems

1
Department of Physics, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712, USA
2
Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712, USA
3
Energy Institute, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 31 March 2018 / Revised: 11 July 2018 / Accepted: 26 July 2018 / Published: 2 August 2018
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Abstract

The goal of this analysis was to evaluate energy and cost requirements for different configurations of a rainwater harvesting (RWH) system in conjunction with a solar PV and energy storage system for an off-grid house. Using models in fluid mechanics, we evaluated energy and power requirements for four different system configurations: 1. An On-Demand System containing a single speed pump (OD-SS), 2. An On-Demand System containing a variable speed pump (OD-VS), 3. A Pressurized Storage System where water is pumped once during the day into a large pressurized tank for later consumption and treated on demand via UV light (PS-AOT), and 4. A Pressurized Storage System where water is treated once per day via UV light and then stored for later consumption (PS-TO). Our analysis showed that the OD-SS system model requires 2.63 kWh per day, the OD-VS system model requires a total energy of 1.65 kWh per day, and the PS-AOT requires 1.67–1.69 kWh per day depending on the pump size, and the PS-TO system requires 0.19–0.36 kWh per day depending on the pump size. When comparing estimated cost between systems, we found the OD-SS system to be the most expensive. With the OD-SS system as a base for system costs, we found the OD-VS system to be 39% less expensive, the PS-AOT system to be 21% less expensive, and the PS-TO system to be 60% less expensive than the base OD-SS system. View Full-Text
Keywords: rainwater harvesting system; energy analysis; off-grid houses rainwater harvesting system; energy analysis; off-grid houses
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Rose, H.S.; Upshaw, C.R.; Webber, M.E. Evaluating Energy and Cost Requirements for Different Configurations of Off-Grid Rainwater Harvesting Systems. Water 2018, 10, 1024.

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