Using Distributed Solar for Treatment of Drinking Water in Developing Countries

Document Type

Conference Proceeding


Unsafe drinking water is a major cause of disease in developing countries. Lack of adequate water treatment and delivery infrastructure, high operational costs and poor maintenance are some of the factors contributing to the problem. Many developing countries also have large population clusters in cities and inadequate sanitation services, which increase the risk of water- borne disease outbreak. Incorporating renewable energy sources for treatment and distribution of potable water may be the key to developing sustainable water supply systems to reduce water- borne diseases in developing countries. This study focused on evaluating the potential of using distributed solar for a 4.5 million gallons per day (MGD) existing drinking water treatment plant (DWTP), located in Sindh, Pakistan. The DWTP utilized a conventional treatment train, consisting of coagulation, flocculation, sedimentation, filtration and disinfection processes to treat water obtained from the Indus River. The DWTP was sized by designing the various unit processes involved and then the energy consumption associated with each unit process was determined. The results showed that the energy consumption was largest for the flash and rapid mixers. Existing land holdings were sufficient for the deployment of solar photovoltaics (PV) which was successfully incorporated into the design of the DWTP.


Civil and Environmental Engineering | Water Resource Management