Solar-energy-driven desalination cycle with an energy storage option

Muhammad Wakil Shahzad, Ben Bin Xu, Laurent Dala, Guoying Wei, Yinzhu Jiang, Robert W. Field, Kim Choon Ng

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The global energy consumption is projected to increase from 550 quadrillion British thermal units to 900 quadrillion Btu (580 EJ to 950 EJ) from 2018 to 2050. The growth rate in Non-Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (non-OECD) countries is four times higher than OECD as reported by The International Energy Agency. In Gulf Cooperation Council countries (GCC) countries, increasing population, rapid industrialization, and other societal factors such as the improved standard of living quality and growing water demand have caused drastic rise in primary energy. The water supply demand gap in GCC countries that cannot be filled by renewable water sources may be over 78% by 2050, and seawater desalination is the only practical solution for future supply increases. Today, all conventional desalination processes are only operating at 10%-13% of thermodynamic limit and consequently contribute huge amount of CO2 emission as well as brine rejection. From the perspective of sustainability, alternative energy sources and innovative processes are urgently required. In this chapter, a novel MgO-based solar thermal energy storage system is proposed as a part of a hybrid MEDAD desalination cycle. In the first phase, the hybrid MEDAD cycle operation has been demonstrated using a solar hot water storage system. In second phase, the hot water storage system will be replaced with MgO energy storage system that is under installation at this moment. The MgO thermal energy storage system can easily store heat at 120–140°C during hydration and dehydration operation, and it can be used for a thermal desalination system. Due to 100% solar operation, the proposed MgO + MEDAD cycle can satisfy sustainability goals.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEnergy Storage for Multigeneration
Number of pages18
ISBN (Print)9780128219201
StatePublished - Oct 14 2022

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2023-03-31
Acknowledgements: Authors would like to thank KAUST for use of experimental facilities experimentation and Northumbria University for MCE QR Steering Fund 2020/2021. Dr. Shahzad also would like to thank to Royal Society Research Grant RGS\R2\212048 for support.
Muhammad Wakil Shahzad also would like to thank to his wife, Nida Imtiaz, and daughter, Afaf Wakil, for support during lockdown to write this chapter.


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