The desalination plant uses a reverse osmosis system based on the process of obtaining drinking water from saline water, by forcing sea or saline water through special designed membranes. This system produces 4 m3/h of permeate, capable of producing over 90 m3 a day of clean water. The proper functioning of the desalination station is maintained by automated processes like auto-flushing (microfiltration prior to the desalination process), dosing the anti-scalant (to correct the water salinity and make it drinkable), rinsing and Cleaning-In-Place (with the purpose of prolonging the life of the RO membranes).
The desalination system can be run in two modes. In the automatic mode, the user can start or stop a desalination sequence or the other maintenance processes (rinsing and Cleaning-in-place), while in the manual mode the user has control over the valves and pumps.
The desalination plant is powered by a hybrid electrical system with the grid and a photovoltaic plant as the main source of energy. A generator and an UPS act as a fallback system when the grid is missing. A photovoltaic cleaning system maintains the PV panels clean to maximize the energy production.
The installed power of the photovoltaic system is 22kW. The maximum value of the energy consumed daily by the desalination plant is 260 kWh while the energy produced by the inverter in a day can easily reach 160 kWh, saving up to 40% of the energy that would’ve otherwise been taken from the grid. Also, the inverter supplies the excess power, unused by the desalination plant, to the utility grid, when this is available.
Electrical measurements and functional parameters (pressures, flows, conductivity, pH, statuses and functioning times) are monitored in a SCADA application that allows remote control of the installation. With further developments in mind, they are also registered in a database.