Update of the El Paso Solar Pond project

Huanmin Lu, Andrew H.P. Swift

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The El Paso Solar Pond was initiated in 1983 and has been intermittently operated since 1985. In 1994, after the failure of its original XR-5 membrane liner, the El Paso Solar Pond was reconstructed with a geosynthetic clay liner (GCL) system. However, the upper part (above the water line) of the 40-mil polypropylene liner failed in 1996 due to a manufacturing defect. The entire pond was then relined with an improved 60-mil polypropylene membrane in February 1997. The salinity gradient was constructed in July 1997, and the El Paso Solar Pond was brought back on line. The bottom temperature reached 80 °C in early September 1997, and heat has been extracted from the pond for electricity generation and other applications since then. In addition to continuing the operation of the pond, as well as advancing the techniques for solar pond operation and maintenance, there are several projects undertaken at the El Paso Solar Pond Project in order to pursue further applications and commercialization of salinity-gradient solar pond technology. Research focused on using the solar pond for brine management and thermal desalination is presently the major project objective. Different desalination techniques coupled with solar ponds are under study. A solar pond coupled multi-effect, multi-stage (MEMS) unit is presently operational and data is being collected. Also, an evaporative type desalination unit is under construction and installation, and will be tested at the El Paso Solar Pond site.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages6
StatePublished - 1998
EventProceedings of the 1998 International Solar Energy Conference - Albuquerque, NM, USA
Duration: Jun 14 1998Jun 17 1998


ConferenceProceedings of the 1998 International Solar Energy Conference
CityAlbuquerque, NM, USA

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