A Comparison of Power Take-Off Architectures for Wave-Powered Reverse Osmosis Desalination of Seawater with Co-Production of Electricity

Jeremy W. Simmons, James D. Van de Ven

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Several power take-off (PTO) architectures for wave-powered reverse osmosis (RO) desalination of seawater are introduced and compared based on the annual average freshwater production and the size of the components, which strongly relate to the costs of the system. The set of architectures compared includes a novel series-type PTO architecture not previously considered. These seawater hydraulic PTO architectures are composed of a WEC-driven pump, an RO module, an intake charge pump driven by an electric motor, and a hydraulic motor driving an electric generator for electric power production. This study is performed using an efficient two-way coupled steady-state model for the average performance of the system in a given sea state, including freshwater permeate production, electric power production, and electric power consumption. A multi-objective design problem is formulated for the purposes of this comparative study, with the objectives of maximizing annual freshwater production, minimizing the displacement of the WEC-driven pump, and minimizing the installed RO membrane area. This establishes a framework for comparison in the absence of a mature techno-economic model. The requirement that the system produces enough electric power to meet its consumption is applied as a constraint on the operation of the system. The oscillating wave surge converter Oyster 1 is assumed as the WEC. Weights on performance of the system in a given sea state are based on historical data from Humboldt Bay, CA. This study finds that (1) architectures in a series configuration allow for a reduction in the WEC-driven pump size of 59–92% compared to prior work, (2) varying the displacement of the WEC-driven pump between sea conditions does not provide any significant advantage in performance, and (3) varying the active RO membrane area between sea condition offers improvements between 7% and 41% in each design objective.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7381
JournalEnergies
Volume16
Issue number21
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 by the authors.

Keywords

  • PTO
  • RO
  • WEC
  • desalination
  • power take-off
  • reverse osmosis
  • wave energy conversion

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