skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Analysis of a Wave-Powered, Reverse-Osmosis System and its Economic Availability in the United States

Abstract

A wave energy converter (WEC) system has the potential to convert the wave energy resource directly into the high-pressure flow that is needed by the desalination system to permeate saltwater through the reverse-osmosis membrane to generate clean water. In this study, a wave-to-water numerical model was developed to investigate the potential use of a wave-powered desalination system (WPDS) for water production in the United States. The model was developed by coupling a time-domain radiation-and-diffraction-method-based numerical tool (WEC-Sim) for predicting the hydrodynamic performance of WECs with a solution-diffusion model that was used to simulate the reverse-osmosis process. To evaluate the feasibility of the WPDS, the wave-to-water numerical model was applied to simulate a desalination system that used an oscillating surge WEC device to pump seawater through the system. The annual water production was estimated based on the wave resource at a reference site on the coast of northern California to investigate the potential cost of water in that area, where the cost of water and electricity is high compared to other regions. In the scenario evaluated, for a 100-unit utility-scale array, the estimated levelized cost of energy for these WECs is about 3-6 times the U.S.'s current, unsubsidized electricity rates. However,more » with clean water as an end product and by directly producing pressurized water with WECs, rather than electricity as an intermediary, it is presently only 12% greater than typical water cost in California. This study suggests that a WEC array that produces water may be a viable, near-term solution to the nation's water supply, and the niche application of the WPDS may also provide developers with new opportunities to further develop technologies that benefit both the electric and drinking water markets.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1]
  1. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Wind and Water Technologies Office (EE-4W)
OSTI Identifier:
1409007
Report Number(s):
NREL/CP-5000-70507
DOE Contract Number:
AC36-08GO28308
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: Presented at the ASME 2017 36th International Conference on Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering, 25-30 June 2017, Trondheim, Norway
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
16 TIDAL AND WAVE POWER; wave energy; desalination; reverse osmosis; time-domain numerical model; cost of energy; cost of water

Citation Formats

Yu, Yi-Hsiang, and Jenne, Dale S. Analysis of a Wave-Powered, Reverse-Osmosis System and its Economic Availability in the United States. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1115/OMAE2017-62136.
Yu, Yi-Hsiang, & Jenne, Dale S. Analysis of a Wave-Powered, Reverse-Osmosis System and its Economic Availability in the United States. United States. doi:10.1115/OMAE2017-62136.
Yu, Yi-Hsiang, and Jenne, Dale S. Sat . "Analysis of a Wave-Powered, Reverse-Osmosis System and its Economic Availability in the United States". United States. doi:10.1115/OMAE2017-62136.
@article{osti_1409007,
title = {Analysis of a Wave-Powered, Reverse-Osmosis System and its Economic Availability in the United States},
author = {Yu, Yi-Hsiang and Jenne, Dale S},
abstractNote = {A wave energy converter (WEC) system has the potential to convert the wave energy resource directly into the high-pressure flow that is needed by the desalination system to permeate saltwater through the reverse-osmosis membrane to generate clean water. In this study, a wave-to-water numerical model was developed to investigate the potential use of a wave-powered desalination system (WPDS) for water production in the United States. The model was developed by coupling a time-domain radiation-and-diffraction-method-based numerical tool (WEC-Sim) for predicting the hydrodynamic performance of WECs with a solution-diffusion model that was used to simulate the reverse-osmosis process. To evaluate the feasibility of the WPDS, the wave-to-water numerical model was applied to simulate a desalination system that used an oscillating surge WEC device to pump seawater through the system. The annual water production was estimated based on the wave resource at a reference site on the coast of northern California to investigate the potential cost of water in that area, where the cost of water and electricity is high compared to other regions. In the scenario evaluated, for a 100-unit utility-scale array, the estimated levelized cost of energy for these WECs is about 3-6 times the U.S.'s current, unsubsidized electricity rates. However, with clean water as an end product and by directly producing pressurized water with WECs, rather than electricity as an intermediary, it is presently only 12% greater than typical water cost in California. This study suggests that a WEC array that produces water may be a viable, near-term solution to the nation's water supply, and the niche application of the WPDS may also provide developers with new opportunities to further develop technologies that benefit both the electric and drinking water markets.},
doi = {10.1115/OMAE2017-62136},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Sat Jun 03 00:00:00 EDT 2017},
month = {Sat Jun 03 00:00:00 EDT 2017}
}

Conference:
Other availability
Please see Document Availability for additional information on obtaining the full-text document. Library patrons may search WorldCat to identify libraries that hold this conference proceeding.

Save / Share:
  • A wave energy converter (WEC) system has the potential to convert the wave energy resource directly into the high-pressure flow that is needed by the desalination system to permeate saltwater through the reverse-osmosis membrane to generate clean water. In this study, a wave-to-water numerical model was developed to investigate the potential use of a wave-powered desalination system (WPDS) for water production in the United States. The model was developed by coupling a time-domain radiation-and-diffraction-method-based numerical tool (WEC-Sim) for predicting the hydrodynamic performance of WECs with a solution-diffusion model that was used to simulate the reverse-osmosis process. To evaluate the feasibilitymore » of the WPDS, the wave-to-water numerical model was applied to simulate a desalination system that used an oscillating surge WEC device to pump seawater through the system. The annual water production was estimated based on the wave resource at a reference site on the coast of northern California to investigate the potential cost of water in that area, where the cost of water and electricity is high compared to other regions. In the scenario evaluated, for a 100-unit utility-scale electricity-producing array, the estimated levelized cost of energy for these WECs is about 3-6 times the U.S.'s current, unsubsidized electricity rates. However, with clean water as an end product and by directly producing pressurized water with WECs, rather than electricity as an intermediary, it is presently only 12 percent greater than typical water cost in California. This study suggests that a WEC array that produces water may be a viable, near-term solution to the nation's water supply, and the niche application of the WPDS may also provide developers with new opportunities to further develop technologies that benefit both the electric and drinking water markets.« less
  • A design for a commercial-scale high-temperature electrolysis (HTE) plant for hydrogen production has been developed. The HTE plant is powered by a high-temperature gas-cooled reactor (HTGR) whose configuration and operating conditions are based on the latest design parameters planned for the Next Generation Nuclear Plant (NGNP). The current HTGR reference design specifies a reactor power of 600 MWt, with a primary system pressure of 7.0 MPa, and reactor inlet and outlet fluid temperatures of 322°C and 750°C, respectively. The power conversion unit will be a Rankine steam cycle with a power conversion efficiency of 40%. The reference hydrogen production plantmore » operates at a system pressure of 5.0 MPa, and utilizes a steam-sweep system to remove the excess oxygen that is evolved on the anode (oxygen) side of the electrolyzer. The overall system thermal-to-hydrogen production efficiency (based on the higher heating value of the produced hydrogen) is 40.4% at a hydrogen production rate of 1.75 kg/s and an oxygen production rate of 13.8 kg/s. An economic analysis of this plant was performed with realistic financial and cost estimating assumptions. The results of the economic analysis demonstrated that the HTE hydrogen production plant driven by a high-temperature helium-cooled nuclear power plant can deliver hydrogen at a cost of $3.67/kg of hydrogen assuming an internal rate of return, IRR, of 12% and a debt to equity ratio of 80%/20%. A second analysis shows that if the power cycle efficiency increases to 44.4%, the hydrogen production efficiency increases to 42.8% and the hydrogen and oxygen production rates are 1.85 kg/s and 14.6 kg/s respectively. At the higher power cycle efficiency and an IRR of 12% the cost of hydrogen production is $3.50/kg.« less
  • A present-value life-cycle economic analysis was performed for the SSPRE solar-powered/fuel-assisted hybrid Rankine system used for cooling. This cycle obtains about 80% of its energy from a solar source at about 100/sup 0/C, and 20% from a fuel-fired superheater and operates at an efficiency of 15 to 20%, double from that of comparable all-solar cycles. It was found that the present-value life-cycle cost of solar energy is the predominant cost component, and the economic advantage of this cycle in halving the solar collector area was quantified. The concept of an economic COP$ as proposed by the first author was usedmore » to good advantage in this hybrid system. Based on the economic parameter values and method used here, the electrically driven vapor compression chiller delivers at present cooling at about half the cost of the best solar cooling systems.« less
  • The Planta Centro Station for CADAFE is intended to demonstrate that seawater reverse osmosis is a viable water-treatment process for the power industry. Reverse osmosis offers to the industry a flexible modular design, easy to operate and economically favorable. It has established itself as a prime competitor to the more-conventional evaporator process. 4 refs.
  • The Reverse Osmosis/Coupled Transport process is a innovative means of removing radionuclides from contaminated groundwater at the Hanford Site. Specifically, groundwater in the 200 West Area of the Hanford Site has been contaminated with uranium, technetium, and nitrate. Investigations are proceeding to determine the most cost effective method to remove these contaminants. The process described in this paper combines three different membrane technologies (reverse osmosis, coupled transport, and nanofiltration to purify the groundwater while extracting and concentrating uranium, technetium, and nitrate into separate solutions. This separation allows for the future use of the radionuclides, if needed, and reduces the amountmore » of waste that will need to be disposed of. This process has the potential to concentrate the contaminants into solutions with volumes in a ratio of 1/10,000 of the feed volume. This compares to traditional volume reductions of 10 to 100 for ion exchange and stand-alone reverse osmosis. The successful demonstration of this technology could result in significant savings in the overall cost of decontaminating the groundwater.« less