Application of Renewable Microgeneration Technologies for Sustainable...

  • Supervisor: Prof. Bryce Richards Heriot-Watt University
  • Sponsor Company: Drinking Water Quality Regulator (Scotland)
  • PhD Student: Junjie Shen
  • This student has draduated and the project is complete

Scotland has installed 82 water treatment plants based on membrane filtration and with a capacity of 3 to 44,000 m3/day since 1994.  The operation of these plants often provides challenges with regards to water quality, maintenance, costs and – most importantly – energy consumption.  This project will, firstly, carry out an in-depth analysis of challenges in system operation, maintenance requirements, component failures, and energy consumption.  Secondly, based on the gathered data, the potential of powering these systems from renewable microgeneration will be investigated.  

This builds on recent work from the UoE/HWU research team has demonstrated that a membrane treatment system can be successfully powered by either wind or solar energy and does NOT require battery storage for achieving safe operation.  This has important implications for operation in very remote areas.  Extending from this work, we therefore seek to determine what system performance could have been achieved for the existing water treatment plants if they had been powered by a mixture of photovoltaics and small wind turbine(s) and how this would have impacted on both capital and O&M costs.  Finally, this will enable us to design a number of different sized systems for possible future deployment in Scotland, as opening up the opportunity to further commercialise the technology for application in both disaster relief areas and developing countries.