Evaluating the Feasibility of Photovoltaic-Based Plant for Potable Water Treatment

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



World Environmental and Water Resources Congress 2017

Publisher Location

Sacramento, California

First page number:


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One of the pressing issues being faced by water industry today is incorporating sustainability considerations into design practices. Water treatment, an indispensable step for safeguarding public health, is an energy-intensive process. Changing climate, carbon emissions, and rising energy costs are some of the issues that warrant exploring alternate energy sources for achieving sustainability goals of water treatment systems. The goal of the current study was to determine the feasibility of using photovoltaics (PV) as a source of energy generation for an existing drinking water treatment plant (DWTP). The selected 10 MGD plant, located in the southwestern U.S., treated groundwater by primarily using filtration and chlorination processes. Based on the energy consumption, individually determined for each unit process of the DWTP, the DWTP was sized for distributed PV and the subsequent reduction in carbon emissions was computed. Results showed that the dependency on the traditional electric grid of a DWTP can be greatly reduced by the potential use of solar PV.


Civil and Environmental Engineering | Water Resource Management