Desalination plants are yet another apt location for a solar PV, for they have always been a suitable alternative for the world’s fresh water crisis. Desalination of brackish and sea water can provide the need of drinking water without any serious impact on the environment, which is the need of the hour in large parts of the world.
Solar desalination will be apt and applicable for areas that enjoy an abundant solar intensity (annual daily average is between 200 –300 W/m2) and large annual sun hours.
Recently, a 3 kW solar PV water desalination plant was installed and operated in rural India with a capacity of 5.000 Liters per day working 6h/day, supporting the village with 3.000 people.
Also, the world’s largest solar powered desalination plant is currently under construction in Saudi Arabia. To be opened in 2012, the plant will produce 30,000 cubic meters of desalinated water per day to meet the needs of 100,000 people. It will also use a new kind of concentrated solar photovoltaic (PV) technology and new water-filtration technology, which KACST developed with IBM.