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Drinking water treatment, wastewater treatment, and water distribution are energy-intensive processes. The goal of this study was to design the unit processes of an existing drinking water treatment plant (DWTP), evaluate the associated energy consumption, and then offset it using solar photovoltaics (PVs) to reduce carbon emissions. The selected DWTP, situated in the southwestern United States, utilizes coagulation, flocculation, sedimentation, filtration, and chlorination to treat 3.94 m3 of local river water per second. Based on the energy consumption determined for each unit process (validated using the plant’s data) and the plant’s available landholding, the DWTP was sized for solar PV (as a modeling study) using the system advisor model. Total operational energy consumption was estimated to be 56.3 MWh day−1 for the DWTP including water distribution pumps, whereas energy consumption for the DWTP excluding water distribution pumps was 2661 kWh day−1. The results showed that the largest consumers of energy—after the water distribution pumps (158.1 Wh m−3)—were the processes of coagulation (1.95 Wh m−3) and flocculation (1.93 Wh m−3). A 500 kW PV system was found to be sufficient to offset the energy consumption of the water treatment only operations, for a net present value of $0.24 million. The net reduction in carbon emissions due to the PV-based design was found to be 450 and 240 metric tons CO2-eq year−1 with and without battery storage, respectively. This methodology can be applied to other existing DWTPs for design and assessment of energy consumption and use of renewables
Drinking water treatment; Energy consumption; Photovoltaics; System advisor model; Treatment plant design; Carbon emissions
Environmental Engineering | Water Resource Management
Design Aspects, Energy Consumption Evaluation, and Offset for Drinking Water Treatment Operation.