Water scarcity and the poor quality of water resources are leading to a wider diffusion of desalination plants using the Reverse Osmosis (RO) process. Unfortunately, the cost of a cubic meter of fresh water produced by an RO plants is still high and many efforts are in progress to increase the efficiency of the membranes used in osmotic plants and to limit the energy required by the process. A further reduction of the energy cost could be obtained by an optimal operation of the desalination plant so reducing the hourly energy cost, or by coupling the RO plant with an energy production plant based on direct osmosis (Pressure Retarded Osmosis PRO). The economic viability of the desalination process has been analyzed until now without accounting for the integration of the RO plant with the existing water network. This analysis is developed in the present paper with reference to a hypothetical change of water supply in a real network, where a desalination plant is used to satisfy the fresh water demand. Several scenarios will be analyzed to assess the minimum cost of fresh water production and water supply to the network, including the use of energy recovery systems, such as an integrated use of RO and PRO processes, or the regulation of pressure at the network intake by a micro hydro power plant.
|Numero di pagine||14|
|Rivista||Water Resources Management|
|Stato di pubblicazione||Published - 2016|
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