This paper presents the design and initial testing of a village-scale photovoltaic (PV) powered electrodialysis reversal (EDR) desalination system for rural India. The system was built by the authors and tested at the Brackish Groundwater National Desalination Research Facility in New Mexico. EDR has the potential to be more cost effective than currently installed village-scale reverse osmosis (RO) systems in off-grid locations due to the lower specific energy consumption of EDR versus RO at high recovery ratios. Lower energetic demand leads to lower solar power system costs for off-grid areas. The system tested in this study is designed to validate that energetic, product water quality, and water recovery requirements can be met. An analytical model of the system that accounts for the composition of natural groundwater is presented and compared to initial experimental results. Additionally, results from the USAID Desal Prize are presented showing the system’s performance in regards to recovery ratio and product water quality. This paper presents the design methodology, resulting system parameters, and experimental results for an initial village-scale PV-EDR field trial.

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