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Renewable Energy Technologies and Energy Efficiency Strategies

Project: 08-13
Year Released: 2013
Type: Decision Making Tool

Program: Principal
Funding Partners: Bureau of Reclamation, California Energy Commission
Total Investment: $391,367.53 (Cash: $200,000, In-Kind: $191,367.53)

Principal Investigator: Joseph Jacangelo, Ph.D., MWH


Energy usage can impact a utility in several areas of operation. Reducing energy consumption can lead to both reduced energy costs and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. A combination of several strategies needs to be considered to reduce energy consumption. These strategies include improved system design, utilization of high-efficiency pumping, implementation of energy recovery devices (ERDs), and non-process-related conservation.

Goals and Objectives

The project provides utilities and water treatment practitioners with energy minimization strategies and renewable energy utilization guideline. The project also developed collateral to help water agencies plan, design, implement, and operate energy efficient desalination and recycling systems that maximize utilization of renewable energy sources (RES) in order to mitigate GHG emissions.

Research Approach

The project consisted of:

A comprehensive literature review of:

  • Energy-efficient design
  • High-efficiency pumping
  • Energy-recovery devices
  • Innovative technologies
  • Advanced membrane materials
  • Renewable energy resources

A Utility Survey of desalination and water reuse full-scale facilities for:

  • Energy minimization strategies
  • Renewable energy utilization
  • Challenges and lessons learned

Development of a guidebook for implementation of energy efficient strategies and renewable resources.

The guidebook is primarily focused on desalination using reverse osmosis (RO) and advanced water treatment (AWT) technologies. The guidebook delineates analytical and quantitative guidelines for technologies to reduce energy use, overall facility costs, and (GHG) emissions from AWT processes used in water reuse and desalination.

Findings and Conclusions

  • The evolution of renewable energy sources and development of novel processes and materials will continue to impact energy usage and production of GHG emissions.
  • There are many common drivers, operational techniques and challenges for energy optimization or use of renewable energy sources irrespective of source water and end use.
  • A guidebook was developed to provide information to utilities, designers and policymakers interested in implementing energy optimization strategies and renewable energy technologies.

Renewable Energy Technologies and Energy Efficiency Strategies
Guidebook for Water Desalination and Reuse Systems to Optimize Energy Use and Reduce Green House Gas Emissions

The strategies provided in the guidebook are best utilized during the concept development and design phase of a project, but the guidelines can also be implemented during routine process operations and maintenance periods. The guidebook can be utilized for new treatment facility design, upgrades, and retrofits to existing treatment facilities to improve energy efficiency. Every chapter and its contents are provided with a resource section with information on tools available for design and implementation, resource guides, technology updates, and vendor information.

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