Potential of wind-powered renewable energy membrane systems for Ghana

15 Nov 2010

Areas of the world that lack fresh water often have an ample supply of wind or solar energy, making renewable energy an attractive option as a power source for desalination systems. Particularly, wind energy is attractive because of its relatively low cost, high efficiency, and recent technological advancements in this area of research. To open system applicability to a broader range of geographical areas, the feasibility of substituting solar panels with a wind turbine on an existing membrane desalination systemthat has undergone testing in the Australian outback is examined. The use of wind turbines will provide greater scope for the system's implementation in various parts of the world according to the local wind or solar resources.Acomparison of several small wind turbines coupled with wind speed data from Ghana showed that a 1 kW FuturEnergy wind turbine would give the best performance for the lowest cost and is therefore the most appropriate for coupling with the membrane system. The predicted permeate production is 1.3 m3/d at a specific energy consumption (SEC) of 1.8 kWh/m3.