Water Systems Using Affordable and Clean Energy

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Water-Energy Nexus".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 December 2021) | Viewed by 26248

Special Issue Editors

Energy BU, CSIRO 10 Murray-Dwyer Circuit, Mayfield West NSW 2304, Australia
Interests: hybridisation and process integration for the optimal water–energy–emission paradigm; multi-scale modelling with primary emphasis on novel technologies in renewable energy, energy storage, desalination, carbon capture, CO2 utilization, waste management, and solar-assisted power cycles.
School of Chemical & Biomulecular Enginnering, The University of Sydney, 2006 NSW, Australia
Interests: Assoc. Prof. Abbas’s research is in the field of Process Systems Engineering and has been actively developing model-based approaches for the following primary areas of research: (1) High-efficiency low-waste energy and chemicals systems (power, oil, gas, petrochemicals, renewables). (2) Low-emission energy generation with carbon capture. (3) Circular economy

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

You are invited to submit your latest research findings showcasing recent approaches in the use of clean power in water systems. Water is a scarce resource that has a close and intricate nexus with energy. Resolving the World’s water supply and sanitation challenges will require clean and renewable energy technologies to power water generation, treatment, and reuse systems. Meaningful approaches to obtaining clean water and sanitation face many challenges at different scales. These depend on geography, populations and consumption patterns, aside from the technological aspects. Multi-scale system-wide solutions are essential to overcome clean power integration and, at times, are restricted or limited by cost-prohibitive grid connectivity.

This Special Issue contributes towards the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals 6 and 7. It will compile papers exhibiting latest research on the synergistic integration of clean energy technology (including low-carbon fossil, renewable, hydrogen, nuclear, and power hybrids) with water production, transport, and storage systems. Submissions that address modelling, techno-economics and life cycle analysis of such systems are welcome.

Dr. Dia Milani
Dr. Ali Abbas
Guest Editors

Background:

Freshwater scarcity is a major obstacle of growth and prosperity for many nations in the world. Conventional centralised freshwater supply options are largely depleting and the unanticipated social and environmental costs of alternative solutions are emerging. Similar to energy, water sector will need clean power integration in an increasingly decentralized mode. In this context, as the global energy markets are rapidly changing, clean and renewable energy technologies will play a crucial role in evolving sustainable water systems. From atmospheric water harvesting to desalination and beyond, various renewable energy technologies can be costumized and paired together to maintain reliable sources of energy for these water systems to serve many communities around the world.

Various forms of energy can be used. Clean fossil energy may reduce the carbon footprint of water systems. Hydro- and geothermal renewable energy sources provide almost readily stable forms of energy over time. Other renewable energy sources cannot be stockpiled easily and must be used when available or be discarded as waste energy. The major restraint for increasing the share of renewable energy sources is their intermittency, which can be addressed through energy storage when available and energy use when needed. Therefore, to bring renewable energy sources (e.g., solar and wind) to independence and reliability, adequate energy storage technologies must be deployed. There are a number of well-established technologies with significant potentials to enable energy storage in integration with various renewable sources. Alternatively, the excess energy can be converted to other means of storage where possible, such as water storage for desalination, or hydrogen storage for fuel cells. To make this hybridization techno-economically and environmentally viable, a single panacea may not be implementable everywhere. Tailor-designed and optimised approaches will be essential. This Special Issue invites researchers to submit works addressing this grand challenge.

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Water is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • water systems
  • clean power
  • renewable energy
  • hybridisation
  • desalination
  • decentralisation

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

17 pages, 3437 KiB  
Article
Design and Investigation of an Effective Solar Still Applicable to Remote Islands
by Alinford Samuel, Josue Brizuela, Keh-Chin Chang and Chun-Tin Lin
Water 2022, 14(5), 703; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14050703 - 23 Feb 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 6284
Abstract
Most remote islands are characterized by small populations, many of whom live under the poverty line, poor geographical accessibility and lack of electricity. As such, the solar still, which has a low capital cost, easy operation and less need of maintenance, is recommended [...] Read more.
Most remote islands are characterized by small populations, many of whom live under the poverty line, poor geographical accessibility and lack of electricity. As such, the solar still, which has a low capital cost, easy operation and less need of maintenance, is recommended to be used in remote islands possessing rich solar irradiance. Against this backdrop, the present study aimed to design and fabricate an effective solar still suitable for application in the remote islands with low freshwater sources but easy access to sea water and rich solar irradiance. Integrating a conventional passive double-slope solar still with an evacuated solar water heater, fins and wick material improves the heat transfer rate through the brine in the basin and increases effective evaporative surface area. Experiments were conducted using batch mode operation during the periods September to October 2021 for the passive solar stills and November 2021 for the active solar still. Experimental results reveal that the augmentation of fins, wicks and a solar water heater influences the overall distillate output of the solar still. The combined use of fins, wicks and a solar water heater increases the average daily productivity by 147% and the average daytime hourly productivity by 245% compared to the conventional passive solar still under similar average solar radiation levels. Using the present design, the active solar still under the solar environment of the testing location can provide 4.4 L of potable water per day. However, to achieve the minimum requirement of 7.5 L/day per person set by WHO, the present design should be modified by increasing the absorber area of the active solar still by 63% and adding eight more evacuated tubes to the solar water heater. The estimated cost per liter of potable water generated by the active (modified) solar still showed that bottled water sold in a typical remote county (Penghu) in Taiwan was 117–283% more expensive than the water generated by the still. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Systems Using Affordable and Clean Energy)
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24 pages, 1963 KiB  
Article
Unraveling the Water-Energy-Food-Environment Nexus for Climate Change Adaptation in Iran: Urmia Lake Basin Case-Study
by Hossein Nasrollahi, Rasool Shirazizadeh, Reza Shirmohammadi, Omid Pourali and Majid Amidpour
Water 2021, 13(9), 1282; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13091282 - 1 May 2021
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 4961
Abstract
A holistic approach to the management of water, energy, food, and the environment is required to both meet the socioeconomic demands of the future as well as sustainable development of these limited resources. The Urmia Lake Basin has faced environmental, social, and economic [...] Read more.
A holistic approach to the management of water, energy, food, and the environment is required to both meet the socioeconomic demands of the future as well as sustainable development of these limited resources. The Urmia Lake Basin has faced environmental, social, and economic challenges in recent years, and this situation is likely to worsen under the impacts of climate change. For this study, an adaptability analysis of this region is proposed for the 2040 horizon year. Two models, the water evaluation and planning (WEAP (Stockholm Environmental Institute, Stockholm, Sweden)) and the low emissions analysis platform (LEAP (Stockholm Environmental Institute, Boston, MA, USA)), are integrated to simulate changes in water, energy, food, and the environment over these 20 years. Two climate scenarios and nine policy scenarios are combined to assess sustainable development using a multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) approach. Results show that, through pursuing challenging goals in agricultural, potable water, energy, and industrial sectors, sustainable development will be achieved. In this scenario, the Lake Urmia water level will reach its ecological water level in 2040. However, social, technical, and political challenges are considered obstacles to implementing the goals of this scenario. In addition, industry growth and industry structure adjustment have the most impact on sustainable development achievement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Systems Using Affordable and Clean Energy)
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18 pages, 3104 KiB  
Article
Evaluating the Potential of a Water-Energy-Food Nexus Approach toward the Sustainable Development of Bangladesh
by Mohammad Nahidul Karim and Bassel Daher
Water 2021, 13(3), 366; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13030366 - 31 Jan 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 4575
Abstract
In pursuit of continuous economic development, Bangladesh has undertaken long-term plans to boost its productivity in the agriculture, energy, and industrial sectors and to align with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Unless these strong interconnections and cross sectoral impacts are recognized, [...] Read more.
In pursuit of continuous economic development, Bangladesh has undertaken long-term plans to boost its productivity in the agriculture, energy, and industrial sectors and to align with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Unless these strong interconnections and cross sectoral impacts are recognized, achievement of the future policy goals and national priorities of the concerned ministries regarding food self-sufficiency, cleaner energy sources, and water availability will be compromised. This study focuses on evaluating the impacts of cross-sectoral policy decisions on the interconnected resource systems at a national scale in Bangladesh. A quantitative analysis is performed to identify resource requirements, synergies, and trade-offs related to a set of future strategies. The analysis concludes by showing that land is the most limiting resource for future expansion and that fresh water will become a critical resource if alternative sources of water are not explored, and, that energy generation, if coal and other fossil fuels are favored over alternative energy sources, will significantly add to the total carbon emissions. Given the limitations of land available for agricultural expansion, of renewable water resources, and the challenges in meeting increasing water, energy, and food demands, the strong interdependencies among the interconnected resource systems must be accounted for. The SDG and national priority indicators are found to improve under scenarios for which resources are conserved via alternative sources. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Systems Using Affordable and Clean Energy)
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31 pages, 7315 KiB  
Article
Improving Thermal Distribution in Water-Cooled PV Modules and Its Effect on RO Permeate Recovery
by Mario F. Suzuki Valenzuela, Fernando Sánchez Soto, María Magdalena Armendáriz-Ontiveros, Ian M. Sosa-Tinoco and Gustavo A. Fimbres Weihs
Water 2021, 13(2), 229; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13020229 - 19 Jan 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2941
Abstract
Among the most notable emerging hybrid technologies for water treatment are those that combine reverse osmosis (RO) membrane systems with alternative energy sources such as solar photovoltaic (PV). Solar PV modules can enable systems disconnected from the electricity grid, and in some locations [...] Read more.
Among the most notable emerging hybrid technologies for water treatment are those that combine reverse osmosis (RO) membrane systems with alternative energy sources such as solar photovoltaic (PV). Solar PV modules can enable systems disconnected from the electricity grid, and in some locations can also be used for water heating as photovoltaic-thermal (PVT) units, a process in which water removes heat from the PV module, increasing its electrical generation efficiency. When combined with RO, the higher temperature feed water can increase RO permeate flux, improving recovery but decreasing the rejection of dissolved salts. Although the decrease in efficiency of PV modules at higher temperatures is a well-known issue, this is usually under conditions of uniform temperature. However, the temperature distribution in water-cooled PV modules is usually not uniform and, given the anisotropy of the distribution and electrical connection of the PV cells in the module, this factor has not been the focus of much study. In this context, a PVT unit that focuses on increasing the output water temperature with a high global heat transfer coefficient will not necessarily be the most electrically efficient system. This study experimentally assesses several proposed heat-exchange configurations for PVT systems where the PV modules are cooled by forced convective water flow. A simulation model of PVT performance is then validated and used to predict the productivity of the PVT-RO coupling, both in terms of electrical generation and permeate flux of the hybrid system under different conditions. The results suggest that water-cooled PV modules have several potential applications for off-grid and remote water treatment, as well as water transportation systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Systems Using Affordable and Clean Energy)
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24 pages, 8512 KiB  
Article
A Modelling Framework for the Conceptual Design of Low-Emission Eco-Industrial Parks in the Circular Economy: A Case for Algae-Centered Business Consortia
by Aldric S. Tumilar, Dia Milani, Zachary Cohn, Nick Florin and Ali Abbas
Water 2021, 13(1), 69; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13010069 - 31 Dec 2020
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 4098
Abstract
This article describes a unique industrial symbiosis employing an algae cultivation unit (ACU) at the core of a novel eco-industrial park (EIP) integrating fossil-fuel fired power generation, carbon capture, biofuel production, aquaculture, and wastewater treatment. A new modelling framework capable of designing and [...] Read more.
This article describes a unique industrial symbiosis employing an algae cultivation unit (ACU) at the core of a novel eco-industrial park (EIP) integrating fossil-fuel fired power generation, carbon capture, biofuel production, aquaculture, and wastewater treatment. A new modelling framework capable of designing and evaluating materials and energy exchanges within an industrial eco-system is introduced. In this scalable model, an algorithm was developed to balance the material and energy exchanges and determine the optimal inputs and outputs based on the industrial symbiosis objectives and participating industries. Optimizing the functionality of the ACU not only achieved a substantial emission reduction, but also boosted aquaculture, biofuel, and other chemical productions. In a power-boosting scenario (PBS), by matching a 660 MW fossil fuel-fired power plant with an equivalent solar field in the presence of ACU, fish-producing aquaculture and biofuel industries, the net CO2 emissions were cut by 60% with the added benefit of producing 39 m3 biodiesel, 6.7 m3 bioethanol, 0.14 m3 methanol, and 19.55 tons of fish products annually. Significantly, this article shows the potential of this new flexible modelling framework for integrated materials and energy flow analysis. This integration is an important pathway for evaluating energy technology transitions towards future low-emission production systems, as required for a circular economy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Systems Using Affordable and Clean Energy)
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12 pages, 1853 KiB  
Article
Oxygen Consumption in Two Subsurface Wastewater Infiltration Systems under Continuous Operation Mode
by Mercedes Lloréns, Ana Belén Pérez-Marín, María Isabel Aguilar, Juan Francisco Ortuño and Víctor Francisco Meseguer
Water 2020, 12(11), 3007; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12113007 - 26 Oct 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1759
Abstract
In this work, an innovative arrangement of a vertical subsurface flow wastewater infiltration system (SWIS) was studied. The principal objective of this study was to evaluate the oxygen transfer rate (OTR) in two different pilot-scale arrangements of an SWIS. The two pilot plants [...] Read more.
In this work, an innovative arrangement of a vertical subsurface flow wastewater infiltration system (SWIS) was studied. The principal objective of this study was to evaluate the oxygen transfer rate (OTR) in two different pilot-scale arrangements of an SWIS. The two pilot plants were composed of four filter beds in series, one with a vertical arrangement of the beds (one over the other) and the other with a horizontal arrangement of the beds (one next to the other). Furthermore, two kinetic models were applied for correlating the COD and NH4+-N concentrations at the inlet and outlet of each treatment step in both pilot plants. The fitting of experimental data to the models allowed the calculation of the areal rate constants. The OTR values obtained were 54.69 g m−2 h−1 and 28.84 g m−2 h−1 for horizontal and vertical arrangement, respectively. These values were considerably higher than those obtained by other authors. The plug flow model describes the behaviour of these SWISs better, and the best fits were achieved for the vertical arrangement. The areal rate constant values obtained in this study were higher than those reported in the bibliography, which indicates a great removal efficiency and therefore lower surface area needed for the treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Systems Using Affordable and Clean Energy)
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