Related Links

Research Trend

Community-scale photovoltaic-powered electrodialysis desalination systems for Indian villages


Steve Barrett

Photovoltaic-powered electrodialysis (PV-ED) is justified as an energy- and cost-effective means of desalinating groundwater in rural India, and the design requirements are presented for a village-level system.

Saline groundwater, which underlies 60% of India, can negatively impact health as well as cause a water source to be discarded because of its taste.

A quarter of India's population live in villages of 2000–5000 people, many of which do not have reliable access to electricity. Most village-scale, on-grid desalination plants use reverse osmosis (RO), which is economically unviable in off-grid locations.

Here researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology justify photovoltaic-powered electrodialysis (PV-ED) as an energy- and cost-effective means of desalinating groundwater for inland villages in rural India. They also present the design requirements for a village-level system.

Technical and ethnographic factors are used to develop an argument for PV-ED for rural locations, including:

  • system capacity
  • biological and chemical contaminant removal
  • water aesthetics
  • recovery ratio
  • energy source
  • economics of water provision
  • maintenance, and the
  • energetic and cost considerations of available technologies.

Within the salinity range of groundwater in India, ED requires less specific energy than RO (75% less at 1000 mg/L, and 30% less at 3000 mg/L). At 2000 mg/L, this energetic scaling translates to a 50% lower PV power system cost for ED versus RO.

Thus PV-ED has the potential to greatly expand the reach of desalination units for rural India.

Desalination, Volume 352, 3 November 2014, Pages 82–91.

Share this article

More services

 

This article is featured in:
Research Trends

 

Comments

ANUMAKONDA JAGADEESH said

25 November 2014
Electrodialysis Desalination is expensive.
Dr.A.Jagadeesh Nellore(AP),India

Note: The majority of comments posted are created by members of the public. The views expressed are theirs and unless specifically stated are not those Elsevier Ltd. We are not responsible for any content posted by members of the public or content of any third party sites that are accessible through this site. Any links to third party websites from this website do not amount to any endorsement of that site by the Elsevier Ltd and any use of that site by you is at your own risk. For further information, please refer to our Terms & Conditions.

Comment on this article

You must be registered and logged in to leave a comment about this article.