Reverse Osmosis Desalination by Hybrid Photovoltaic/Thermal Solar Systems (PV/T-RO) Research

In a joint venture with the Institute of Thermodynamics (TUM) of Munich University, the CREEC researchers are testing the design of Reverse Osmosis (RO) desalination sys­tems for use in off-grid communities. In this project, the energy efficiency of a solar powered RO desalination plant is to be improved and, simultaneously, the challenge of the transient power supply is to be solved. Therefore, a small-scale RO transiently operated pilot system powered by renewable energy is to be systematically investigated with special focus on thermal control.

To achieve these goals a new design of a seawater-proof PV/T collector was developed and a pilot plant in the CREEC Research Park at the Institute was constructed. Several experiments were devised to confirm the ideas suggested.