Modelling and optimization of modular system for power generation from a salinity gradient

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Renewable Energy, 2019, 141 pp. 139 - 147
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© 2019 Elsevier Ltd Pressure retarded osmosis has been proposed for power generation from a salinity gradient resource. The process has been promoted as a promising technology for power generation from renewable resources, but most of the experimental work has been done on a laboratory size units. To date, pressure retarded osmosis optimization and operation is based on parametric studies performed on laboratory scale units, which leaves a gap in our understanding of the process behaviour in a full-scale modular system. A computer model has been developed to predict the process performance. Process modelling was performed on a full-scale membrane module and impact of key operating parameters such as hydraulic feed pressure and feed and draw solution rates were evaluated. Results showed that the optimum fraction of feed/draw solution in a mixture is less than what has been earlier proposed ratio of 50% and it is entirely dependent on the salinity gradient resource concentration. Furthermore, the optimized pressure retarded osmosis process requires a hydraulic pressure less than that in the normal (unoptimized) process. The results here demonstrate that the energy output from the optimized pressure regarded osmosis process is up to 54% higher than that in the normal (unoptimized) process.
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