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Prospects of Utilization of Solar Energy For Thermal Desalination Technologies in Saudi Arabia - Dissertation Example

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Prospects of Utilization of Solar Energy For Thermal Desalination Technologies in Saudi Arabia

The paper describes about the current scenario about water resources in Saudi Arabia and how existing demand supply gaps can be filled with the use of thermal desalination technology in the years to come. Introduction The world population including the population in Saudi Arabia is growing at a rapid pace. The established and known reserves of fossil fuel is depleting fast. It has been imperative on the part of scientist and engineers to think of alternate sources of energy to meet the increasing demand. With the rising population demand of water is increasing too. Saudi Arabia has no natural sources of water supply except the water stored in aquifers. For these reasons, the Saudi Arabia has undertaken several projects for the development of renewable sources of energy. This study explores the possibility of harnessing solar energy for the purpose of desalination of water in Saudi Arabia. Radiation Measurement in Saudi Arabia According to one research report, the average solar radiation in Saudi Arabia is noticed as 5591 Watt hour on unit square meter area. The data collected are from 41 stations in the period of 10 years. (Mohandas et al, 1999) The solar radiation measurement in Saudi Arabia is now available for 10 major towns namely Tabuk, Al-Ula, Unayxah, Shaqra, Dawdami, Yabrin, Turabah, Heifa, Kwash, and Najran. Though all the locations offer promising solar radiation but the area of Najran is found to be the best. The method used is called radial basis function neural networks. (Mohandas et al, 1999) Solar energy and duration of sunshine is not the same throughout the year. As per the Solar Radiation Atlas the radiation is found to be in the range of 4.1 and 6.7 kilowatt-hour /sq. meter / day. (Alnaser et al., 2004) An Overview of Desalination Process in Saudi Arabia The current market share of the Saudi Arabia in the production of desalinated water is about 30 percent when viewed with respect to the global capacity installed. In last 80 years the Saudi Arabia has spent almost $25 billion on building and operating desalination plants. The kingdom now has 30 desalination units and the country has more than quadrupled its food production. It can be said that Saudi Arabia has turned into a modern nation in the last 25 years. A more than 50 percent water need of a resident in any city of the kingdom is met through Desalinated technology. (Water Demand, 2010) Supply and Demand Scenario of Water in Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia is mostly desert area devoid of any lakes or rivers. Saudi has limited water resources. The groundwater, stored in several aquifers across the country, is the main source that satisfies more than 90% of its water demand. Available Water Resources in Saudi Arabia, 2010 Source of Water In Million Cubic Meters Surface water (Renewable) 5000 (2230 available for use) Groundwater resources 2,269,000 (84,000 renewable water in shallow aquifers) Groundwater recharge (Renewable) 3,958 (1,196 in shallow aquifers and 2,762 in deep aquifers) Desalination 1050 Treated Wastewater 400 Source: http://www.miahona.com/upload/publications/2010_Walid_SWPF-2010_Jeddah.pdf (p 18) The government of Saudi Arabia has been making great efforts to secure the water supplies for all purposes; some of them include such as dams, distribution systems, wastewater collection and treatment facilities in most cities and towns of the kingdom along with large sea ...Show more

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Prospects of Utilization of Solar Energy for Thermal Desalination Technologies in Saudi Arabia   Abstract Fossil Fuels are depleting fast all over the world. Various studies reveal that they are not likely to last more than 50-60 years. Only solution to the world energy needs and for that matter, the energy needs of Saudi Arabia can best be met with renewable energy sources…
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