Office of Policy

ORNL Winning Proposal for US-Israel Desalination Challenge

June 5, 2017

You are here

Sujit Das‡, Vasilis Fthenakis#, Adam A. Atia*, Ngai Yin Yip*, Pablo Cassorla‡*, William Becker†*

‡ Oak Ridge National Laboratory

# Brookhaven National Laboratory

* Columbia University

† Hazen and Sawyer DPC

An integrated renewable energy (RE) and reverse osmosis (RO) desalination design that dynamically controls energy consumption under variable power and salinity conditions is proposed. The conceptual RO plant would utilize feedwater from low-salinity sources (e.g., treated wastewater) and concentrated sources (seawater). Variable-power pumping, variable feedwater salinity control, and flexible membrane flow configurations would be used to enhance demand-response capabilities, compensating for stressors on the grid and fluctuations in RE generation, while continuously producing potable water. This system includes on-site renewable power and pumped-hydro energy storage (PHS) to operate the RO plant, and supplies electricity to the grid during peak hours. Moreover, the proposed RO system can flexibly adjust its load setpoint in response to ancillary services to provide regulation capacity and spinning reserves when prices are favorable. In addition to flexible load response, this concept enables treatment of both low- and high-salinity feedwater which would ensure a higher system resiliency, reduce costs and energy consumption, facilitate brine dilution, reuse wastewater, and could provide retrofitting potential for existing RO plants that lack flexibility in treatment capability and electric load controllability.