Coupling Desalination & CSP heat recovery

DESOLINATION: Developing technologies for a Sustainable World

Discover groundbreaking technologies that integrate concentrated solar power and advanced desalination systems to optimize water and energy production.

Our Key Innovations

Future-Ready Power Cycles

Development of the next generation of CSP energy cycles with a working fluid and a turbomachine adaptable to new ranges, thereby reducing costs.

Innovative CSP with Heat Recovery

Using CO2 blends and heat recovery from a Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) plant to power desalination plants efficiently.

Advanced Desalination System

Combining direct osmosis and membrane distillation, exploiting the waste heat recovered from the CSP plant to desalinate seawater.

Adaptive Coupling Cycle

Optimising system performance with an adapted control system to manage the continuous production of freshwater while operating the CSP plant.

Enhancing System Flexibility

Next-Generation CSP Power Cycle

Our innovative power cycle is tailored for the next generation of CSP plants, using CO2-based working fluids and advanced turbomachinery. The benefits of these innovations are

1) Adaptable ranges of temperature to match the requirement from the coupling side.

2) Smaller turbomachinery, i.e. lesser costs

This new power cycle will be installed in King Saud University and compared with the existing one.

maximizing the production of fresh water and electricity

Innovative CSP with Heat Recovery

Our innovative CSP cycle employs CO2 blends and a heat recovery system to harness waste heat from the CSP plant, powering a desalination plant. This technology will undergo a year-long test at King Saud University in Riyadh.

The integration scheme ensures that high-performing cycles work together efficiently, maximizing the production of pure water and electricity. This approach not only enhances performance but also promotes sustainable energy and water solutions.

Innovative Desalination System using a draw solution

Forward Osmosis and Membrane Distillation

Forward osmosis: seawater is extracted from the sea, water is driven through the membrane by the draw solution and the remaining minerals (brine) are rejected. During DESOLINATION, brine is treated to revalorise its minerals.

Membrane distillation: using the recovered heat, water is separated from the draw solution and goes through the membrane to be collected as freshwater while the draw solution circles back to the beginning of the loop.

To optimise both processes, the draw solution is tuned to serve several purposes: efficiently attracting water from the sea water, efficiently using the heat recovered from the CSP power cycle and easily being separated from water at the membrane distillation step.

optimising the performance of CSP and desalination processes

Adaptive Coupling Cycle using inovative control system

To enhance system efficiency, we have developed an intermediate adaptive coupling cycle between the CSP and the desalination blocks. This cycle employs a smart control system to ensure continuous freshwater production while maintaining optimal operation of the concentrated solar power plant. The adaptive cycle allows for flexible power management (handles variations in power demand and supply) and improved system reliability (evaluates the energy cycle of the CO2 mixtures and the desalination system).

Adaptive coupling

The adaptive coupling is used to de-risk the coupling process and make sure that all the steps of the heat recovery process are understood before proceeding with the direct coupling of both CSP and desalination.

Smart Control system

Smart control systems are thus used in the water storage tank to gather data on temperatures and pressures after each type of cycle and test/adjust the most appropriate responses on the heat exchangers and fluids. The system optimises the performance of both the CSP and desalination processes, leading to higher efficiency and reduced operational risks.

Heat Exchangers

After the indirect coupling of CSP and desalination, both processes will be directly linked, removing the smart heat control system and merging the heat exchangers between the power cycle and the draw solution. Heat exchangers are critical to the heat transfer within the CSP cycles to recover heat from the sun and make the turbine work.

Advanced Heat Exchange Solutions

 In DESOLINATION, specific work will be on exchanging heat between the power cycle (air in the existing plant, supercritical CO2 in the innovative one) and the desalination draw solution (highly concentrated solution). New Printed Circuit Heat Exchangers (PCHEs) and Printed Fin Heat Exchangers (PFHEs) will thus be produced.

The adaptive storage cycle will provide an easier environment for testing heat recovery (the exchange will be with water on one side instead of two difficult unknown environments) until the two sets of parameters are better known and direct coupling is possible.

Discover the DESOLINATION Methodology

Get a complete visual guide to our innovative project by downloading the DESOLINATION methodological diagram. Find out how we are integrating cutting-edge technologies to optimise solar energy and desalination processes.