UNSW School of Photovoltaic & Renewable Energy Engineering
High recovery rate solar driven reverse osmosis and membrane distillation plants for brackish groundwater desalination in Egypt
Amir Nashed - UNSW SPREE

Amir Nashed, at UNSW SPREE, 26 February 2014

Amir Nashed (63Min)


Amir Nashed speaks at UNSW


Fresh water and energy, the most important resources for human survival and development, are getting scarcer every day. The expanding population in Egypt is increasing the pressure on its fresh water and fossil fuel resources. This talk presents recent study regarding the feasibility of extracting and desalinating brackish groundwater in Egypt using solar driven high recovery rate reverse osmosis and membrane distillation desalination plants. Such plants are suggested to help establishing decentralised agricultural communities to increase the resiliency of the population.

The talk starts with a short review on the current energy and water status in Egypt, followed by a more detailed overview on the different desalination and solar technologies that are typically used in arid areas. The availability of brackish groundwater in Egypt and its potential for sustainable development is then outlined.

The talk then shows the results of the techno economical feasibility study of using high recovery rate PV driven reverse osmosis plants to extract and desalinate brackish groundwater. In an attempt to reduce the desalination energy consumption of the reverse osmosis plant, the feasibility of replacing standard photovoltaic modules with Photovoltaic/Thermal collectors to heat the feed water is also discussed. Finally, due to the limited availability of groundwater in Egypt, the feasibility of using state of the art membrane distillation technology to further enhance the recovery rate of the reverse osmosis plants is tested. The talk will provide a quick overview on a mathematical model that was used to simulate the performance of a commercial full scale spiral wound permeate gap membrane distillation module.

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Brief Bio

Amir Nashed completed his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Alexandria (Egypt) in 2006, and obtained his Masters of Science in Photovoltaic Engineering from the University of New South Wales in 2009. In 2014, he submitted his doctoral thesis in Photovoltaic Engineering at the University of New South Wales. His research interests are in the area of sustainable community development including solar energy supplies, membrane water treatment/water desalination and energy efficiency.