Development and economic viability analysis of photovoltaic (PV) energy powered decentralized ultrafiltration of rainwater for potable use

Elsevier, Journal of Water Process Engineering, Volume 50, December 2022
Bau S.R.C., Bevegnu M., Giubel G., Gamba V., Cadore J.S., Briao V.B. et al.

This paper approaches long-term experiments for the treatment of rainwater by ultrafiltration (UF) followed by chlorination to produce potable water The water produced met the standards of drinking water in terms of physical, chemical, and microbiological parameters (coliforms and E. coli). The UF (50 kDa) hollow fiber membrane achieved a high permeate flux (135 L h−1 m−2). The use of photovoltaic (PV) energy was evaluated to energize the proposed system for small, medium, and large-scale building catchment areas for rainwater. The economic assessment shows that a water cost of 0.17 US$ m−3, 0.10 US$ m−3, and 0.05 US$ m−3 for 230 m2, 2300 m2, and 11,500 m2 of rooftop areas, respectively, without a PV power source. With the installation of PV panels as the source of power, similar water costs were found, 0.13 US$ m−3, 0.10 US$ m−3, and 0.04 US$ m−3 for 230 m2, 2300 m2, and 11,500 m2, respectively. The results demonstrate that treatment of rainwater using UF followed by chlorination powered by renewable energy (PV) is a technical and economical alternative to supply drinking water through decentralized systems.