Determining the Reliability of Passive Solar Distillation Basins and Predicting the Proper Storage Volume to Meet Year-Round Potable Water Demand

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Conference Proceeding

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Publication Title

Proceedings of the 41st American Solar Energy Society National Conference



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A study has been performed to evaluate and model the reliability of passive solar distillation systems consisting of distillation basins and water storage tanks. The genetic algorithm (GA) optimization method was used to optimize several objective functions to accurately predict daily production from local weather data. The best objective function was capable of predicting daily production with a mean absolute error as low as 11%. A system dynamics model (SDM) was created to forecast daily production and reservoir storage volume. The SDM indicated a minimum basin area requirement of 1.25 m2 /per capita in order to meet daily water demand over the five year period for the latitude and weather of the Mojave Desert. The SDM also indicated that a storage volume of 600 L per capita would be sufficient to buffer both weather related, daily, and seasonal climate variations in distillate production and to provide a reliable year-round supply.


Distillation; Distilled water; Solar stills; Water; Water--Purification--Distillation process; Water--Storage


Civil and Environmental Engineering | Engineering | Environmental Engineering | Environmental Sciences | Hydraulic Engineering | Water Resource Management




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