SOLAR DESALINATION UNIT

Control and energy management strategies in production environments with support of renewable energy, ENERPRO

Subproject title: Efficient energy control and management of solar thermal desalination systems, EFFERDESAL

Participants: UAL (ES) (ENERPRO), CIEMAT-PSA (EFFERDESAL)

Contact:  Diego-César Alarcón-Padilla, diego.alarcon@psa.es

Funding agency: Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad, Plan Estatal. I+D+i 2013-2016 orientada a los retos de la sociedad.

Background: Due to increasing demand -for energy and water, most countries are promoting the efficient use of these resources to reduce costs and increase sustainability. Generally, energy efficiency is not only associated with technological improvements, but also with the improvement of control and energy management. This is the main framework of this research project ENERPRO, which is a natural evolution of a previous project, POWER, where both UAL and CIEMAT-PSA subprojects focused on heat/cooling and water management.

Objectives: The main objectives of the subproject are: (1) dynamic modeling of solar-gas hybrid desalination plants; (2) analysis of energy storage systems and auxiliary systems for energy cost reduction; (3) design of simplified models for control purposes; (4) development of MPC strategies for desalination plants; (5) coupling of solar desalination plants to supply water to greenhouses and buildings; and (6) testing of control algorithms both in simulation and in the real installations.

Achievements in 2018: Among the most important activities during this year are the improvement of static and dynamic models for flat-plate solar collector fields, development of new neural network-based models for membrane distillation processes and the development of new multi-variable and hybrid control strategies for solar-powered distillation. Research activities for the identification of the best operating conditions for MED-DEAHP plants, techno-economic assessment of RO+CSP and RO+PV configurations and experimental characterization of the balance of plant for small-aperture parabolic trough solar collector systems have been also concluded during the last year of the project.