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Environmental life cycle analysis of a water pumping and desalination process powered by intermittent renewable energy sources


  • Cherif, Habib
  • Champenois, Gérard
  • Belhadj, Jamel


In this paper the authors investigated a study for the life cycle assessment (a period of 20 years) in terms of embodied energy of a water pumping and desalination process powered by a hybrid photovoltaic-wind system. Environmental indicator: embodied energy was used according to ISO standards. Embodied energy is computed for a photovoltaic subsystem, a wind turbine subsystem and a hydraulic process (water pumping, water storage and a desalination process). Life cycle assessment evaluation of the photovoltaic subsystem was studied for three types of photovoltaic module: mono-crystalline, poly-crystalline and amorphous silicon. In addition, the amounts of the primary energy requirement for different industrial PV modules and for different industrial wind turbines are computed. In the hydraulic process, the life cycle assessment is studied for three motor-pumps, two stages of pressure vessel and three water tanks. The life cycle analysis results show that the embodied energy for 20 years׳ lifetime of 1m3 of permeate water is around 2.2MJ/m3. It is also found that the embodied energy of 1m2 wind turbine is around 2409MJ/m2 and the embodied energy of 1m2 mono-, poly-, and amorphous silicon solar panels is 4779MJ/m2, 3815MJ/m2 and 2462MJ/m2, respectively.

Suggested Citation

  • Cherif, Habib & Champenois, Gérard & Belhadj, Jamel, 2016. "Environmental life cycle analysis of a water pumping and desalination process powered by intermittent renewable energy sources," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 1504-1513.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:rensus:v:59:y:2016:i:c:p:1504-1513
    DOI: 10.1016/j.rser.2016.01.094

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Giuseppe Todde & Lelia Murgia & Isaac Carrelo & Rita Hogan & Antonio Pazzona & Luigi Ledda & Luis Narvarte, 2018. "Embodied Energy and Environmental Impact of Large-Power Stand-Alone Photovoltaic Irrigation Systems," Energies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(8), pages 1-1, August.
    2. González-Aparicio, I. & Kapetaki, Z. & Tzimas, E., 2018. "Wind energy and carbon dioxide utilisation as an alternative business model for energy producers: A case study in Spain," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 222(C), pages 216-227.
    3. Ihsan Ullah & Mohammad G. Rasul, 2018. "Recent Developments in Solar Thermal Desalination Technologies: A Review," Energies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(1), pages 1-1, December.


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