802 Solar Thermal Drinking Water Production: Weather Challenges and Climate Change

Wednesday, 26 January 2011
Hugo A. Loaiciga, Univ. of California, Santa Barbara, CA

Sixty percent of the world population lives within twenty kilometers of coastlines and about one half of those are not served with safe drinking water. Many of these societies enjoy vast amounts of solar radiation at ground level which this paper will show could allow for the deployment of a renewable solar thermal seawater desalination system that is also sustainable and cost effective. This system could provide safe drinking water to large populations. The physical and engineering principles of our solar thermal seawater desalination system will be reviewed as well as its connection to variable atmospheric transmissivity and weather conditions, as well as newly measured production data. Similar to wind energy, our solar thermal system requires short term (i.e., 24-hour) advanced and accurate forecasts. Because of solar earth interactions, however, seasonal variability and fixed theoretical insolation heavily favor the deployment of a solar thermal system for seawater desalination as herein proposed. Complications that may arise from climate change and increased water vapor concentration will be analyzed in this paper.
- Indicates paper has been withdrawn from meeting
- Indicates an Award Winner