Princeton University Library Catalog

EXPLORING THE INTEGRATION OF CONCENTRATED SOLAR POWER AND MULTI-EFFECT DISTILLATION FOR COMBINED POWER PRODUCTION AND DESALINATION IN THE SOUTHWEST UNITED STATES

Author/​Artist:
Businelli, Nicole M. [Browse]
Format:
Senior thesis
Language:
English
Advisor(s):
Department:
Princeton University. Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering [Browse]
Class year:
2013
Description:
60 pages
Restrictions note:
Walk-in Access. This thesis can only be viewed on computer terminals at the Mudd Manuscript Library.
Summary note:
Rapid population growth and rising temperatures in the Southwest United States in recent decades have strained regional power and water supply. Renewable energy technologies that can tap into the area’s abundant solar resources are being explored to sustainably meet this demand. Concentrated solar power (CSP) has large-scale power generation capabilities and the potential for integration with desalination processes, such as multi-effect distillation (MED), to produce both power and water. A project by Observatoire Méditerranéen de l’Energie in 2010 proposed a design for a CSP-MED plant for the East Mediterranean and North African region. This paper provides a technical evaluation of the CSP-MED design, using a plant simulated with Aspen Plus software, to assess its viability for the Southwest United States. A tradeoff in power to water production was established that reveals that the desalination of water via the Observatoire Méditerranéen de l’Energie configuration comes at too high a cost in power reduction of the plant. An alternate CSP-MED configuration is suggested that can desalinate water by MED without reducing net power output and may be a more viable option that warrants further investigation.