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water-energy nexus

Chilean startup using PV to produce potable water from humidity

A Chilean startup is using solar energy to produce high-quality drinking water from the humidity in the air. The first plant is located in Chile, but there are plans in the works to expand to Colombia and Peru.

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How much floating PV is enough?

Scientists in the UK have had a closer look at the impacts of floating PV systems on the water. They found that their cooling effect on water mitigates blooms of toxic blue-green algae and increased water evaporation, which are both caused by global warming. They also warned, however, that colder water may result in a reduction of the duration of so-called thermal stratification. The right proportion between the surface occupied by the PV array and a water surface’s total area is key for addressing this issue.

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Solar canals already competitive with ground-mounted PV

U.S. researchers have assessed the technical and economic feasibility of solar canals in California and have found that their LCOE is already close to that of ground-mounted solar plants. Three different project configurations were analyzed for eight different sites across the California network of canals.

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Hydro-PV microgrid in Patagonia

In a national park in Chile, a hydropower plant has been combined with a solar system and battery storage to replace diesel generation.

Floating PV to offset underperforming hydropower

Brazil now has 12  GW of underperforming hydropower capacity, according to U.S. researchers. Large-scale floating PV is an ideal solution to offset this shortfall, due to its high capacity factor, load correlation, and high potential output during periods of high demand.

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Philippines’ nexus approach for water and solar power supply

The country’s National Irrigation Administration will bet on floating PV and solar-powered irrigation to improve water and energy supply. The Pantabangan and Casecnan dams, in the province of Nueva Ecija in the Central Luzon region, have been identified as ideal locations for floating solar.

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Solar driving efficient electrochemical water treatment

Researchers from the United States have investigated how solar could help electrochemical methods for water treatment become more competitive. The scientists analyzed how electrochemical technologies such as electrocoagulation, capacitive deionization, electrodialysis, and electrodeionization may be combined with solar power generation.

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Solar can drive down levelized cost of desalinated water

A study from Finland’s Lappeenranta University of Technology states decarbonization of desalination could help achieve a levelized cost of water of €0.32-1.66 per cubic meter. Solar and storage are expected to play a decisive role.

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South Africa’s water-energy nexus leaves room for improvement

A team of researchers modeled the country’s energy future, finding that the drought plagued municipalities could benefit massively from large scale renewables deployment. The current reliance on coal-fired power stations causes immense water consumption, worsening the problem.

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