Frontiers in Energy

, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp 297–304 | Cite as

Economic evaluation of reverse osmosis desalination system coupled with tidal energy

  • Changming Ling
  • Yifei Wang
  • Chunhua Min
  • Yuwen Zhang
Research Article


A reverse osmosis (RO) desalination system coupled with tidal energy is proposed. The mechanical energy produced by the tidal energy through hydraulic turbine is directly used to drive the RO unit. The system performances and the water cost of the conventional and tidal energy RO systems are compared. It is found that the proposed tidal energy RO system can save water cost in the range of 31.0%-41.7% in comparison with the conventional RO system. There is an optimum feed pressure that leads to the lowest water cost. The tidal RO system can save more costs at a high feed pressure or a high water recovery rate. The optimum feed pressure of the tidal energy RO system is higher than that of the conventional RO system. The longer lifetime of the tidal energy RO system can save even more water cost. When the site development cost rate is lower than 40%, the water cost of the tidal energy RO system will be lower than that of the conventional RO system. The proposed technology will be an effective alternative desalination method in the future.


reverse osmosis (RO) desalination tidal energy model economic evaluation 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.



This work was supported by the Key Laboratory of Ocean Renewable Energy and Sea Water Desalination of Science and Technology Special Project of Zhanjiang City of China (2013 A06008), the Science and Technology Project of Guangdong Province of China (2011B010100033), and the Science and Technology Development Project in Ocean and Fishery of Guangdong Province of China (A201301D01).


  1. 1.
    Will M, Klinko K. Optimization of seawater RO systems design. Desalination, 2005, 173(1): 1–12CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    He W, Wang Y, Shaheed M H. Stand–alone seawater RO (reverse osmosis) desalination powered by PV (photovoltaic) and PRO (pressure retarded osmosis). Energy, 2015, 86: 423–435CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Vince F, Marechal F, Aoustin E, Bréant P. Multi-objective optimization of RO desalination plants. Desalination, 2008, 222 (1–3): 96–118CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Malek A, Hawlader M N A, Ho J C. A lumped transport parameter approach in predicting B10 RO permeator performance. Desalination, 1994, 99(1): 19–38CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    DOW. Design a reverse osmosis system: design equations and parameters. Technical Manual, 2006Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Marcovecchio MG, Aguirre P A, Scenna N J. Global optimal design of reverse osmosis networks for seawater desalination: modeling and algorithm. Desalination, 2005, 184 (1–3): 259–271CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Lu Y Y, Hua Y D, Zhang X L,Wu L Y, Liu Q Z. Optimum design of reverse osmosis system under different feed concentration and product specification. Journal of Membrane Science, 2007, 287(2): 219–229CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Malek A, Hawlader M N A, Ho J C. Design and economics of RO seawater desalination. Desalination, 1996, 105(3): 245–261CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Oh H J, Hwang T M, Lee S. A simplified simulation model of RO systems for seawater desalination. Desalination, 2009, 238(1–3): 128–139CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Bouhelal O K, Merrouch R, Zejli D. Costs investigation of coupling an RO desalination system with a combined cycle power plant, using DEEP code. Desalination, 2004, 165(1–3): 251–257CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Nisan S, Benzarti N. A comprehensive economic evaluation of integrated desalination systems using fossil fuelled and nuclear energies and including their environmental costs. Desalination, 2008, 229(1–3): 125–146CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Kosmadakis G, Manolakos D, Kyritsis S, Papadakis G. Economic assessment of a two-stage solar organic Rankine cycle for reverse osmosis desalination. Renewable Energy, 2009, 34(6): 1579–1586CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Khalifa A J N. Evaluation of different hybrid power scenarios to reverse osmosis (RO) desalination units in isolated areas in Iraq. Energy for Sustainable Development, 2011, 15(1): 49–54CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Iaquaniello G, Salladini A, Mari A, Mabrouk A A, Fath H E S. Concentrating solar power (CSP) system integrated with MED-RO hybrid desalination. Desalination, 2014, 336(1): 121–128CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Loutatidou S, Arafat H A. Techno-economic analysis of MED and RO desalination powered by low-enthalpy geothermal energy. Desalination, 2015, 365: 277–292CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Caldera U, Bogdanov D, Breyer C. Local cost of seawater RO desalination based on solar PV and wind energy: a global estimate. Desalination, 2016, 385: 207–216CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Higher Education Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Changming Ling
    • 1
  • Yifei Wang
    • 1
  • Chunhua Min
    • 2
  • Yuwen Zhang
    • 3
  1. 1.College of Mechanical and Power EngineeringGuangdong Ocean UniversityZhanjiangChina
  2. 2.College of Energy and Environmental EngineeringHebei University of TechnologyTianjinChina
  3. 3.Department of Mechanical and Aerospace EngineeringUniversity of MissouriColumbiaUSA

Personalised recommendations