Applications of salinity gradient solar technologies in the Southwest - an overview

Andrew H.P. Swift, Huanmin Lu

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

Abstract

This paper is an overview of recent applications of salinity gradient solar technologies (SGST) in the Southwest and especially in the State of Texas. SGST is a generic title for using a salinity gradient in a body of water to suppress convection and collect solar energy for a desired application, for example, salinity gradient solar ponds. Following initial work in the early 1980s at the El Paso Solar Pond project and funding of the Texas Solar Pond Consortium by the State of Texas and the Bureau of Reclamation, several applications involving the use of salinity gradient solar technologies have emerged. These applications include a biomass waste to energy project using heat from a solar pond at Bruce Foods Corporation; an industrial process heat application for sodium sulfate mining near Seagraves, Texas; overwintering thermal refuges for mariculture in Palacios, Texas; a potential salt management project on the Brazos River near Abilene, Texas; and use of solar ponds for brine disposal at a water desalting project in a small colonia east of El Paso. This paper discusses salinity gradient solar technology requirements and the abundance of resources available in Texas and the Southwest which makes this an attractive location for the commercial development of salinity gradient projects. Barriers to development as well as catalysts are discussed before a brief overview of the projects listed above is provided.

Original languageEnglish
Pages237-240
Number of pages4
StatePublished - 1996
EventProceedings of the 1996 International Solar Energy Conference - San Antonio, TX, USA
Duration: Mar 31 1996Apr 3 1996

Conference

ConferenceProceedings of the 1996 International Solar Energy Conference
CitySan Antonio, TX, USA
Period03/31/9604/3/96

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