Delivery of a Solar-Powered Forward Osmosis Seawater Desalination Plant: Trevi’s 500 m3/day Zero-Carbon FO Seawater Desalination Plant at NELHA

Authors: John Webley (1), Michael Greene (2), Jui Shan Yong (3)
MSEE, DSc. (Hon), CEO Trevi Systems Inc, United States (1,)
MSc, Vice President Engineering Trevi Systems, United States (2,)
PhD, Vice President Business Development Trevi Systems, United States (3)



This paper presents an account of Trevi’s delivery of a 500 m3/day solar powered forward osmosis (FO) seawater desalination plant at the Ocean Science and Technology Park of the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority (NELHA). The project aimed to demonstrate the viability of solar thermal-powered desalination for agricultural applications through the integration of a 2MW micro-dish solar thermal array with a state-of-the-art FO system. Highlighted in the paper are the three distinct project phases; Planning and Design, System Construction, Installation & Testing followed finally by System Operation and Optimization. Results and decisions which led to the final plant design will be shared, highlighting how Trevi Systems succeeded in producing a zero-carbon FO seawater desalination plant with a projected Levelized Cost of Water (LCOW) estimate competitive with existing carbon-intensive RO technologies (based on some assumptions and the cost of heat which is required for FO). Trevi's design and implementation of a solar-powered FO seawater desalination plant at NELHA demonstrated groundbreaking advancements in sustainable desalination. The careful planning, strategic design selection, and innovative technological developments resulted in a zero-carbon, competitive LCOW desalination solution.


Forward Osmosis, Solar-Powered Desalination, Seawater Reverse Osmosis, Renewable Energy, Environmental Sustainability

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ISSN : 2706-6495

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