Establishing Small-Scale Salt-Gradient Solar Pond Experiment, Dead SeaJordan

Establishing Small-Scale Salt-Gradient Solar Pond Experiment, Dead SeaJordan


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    An experiment for salinity-gradient solar pond has been constructed and operated at the Dead Sea area over a period of 3 months. The pond has a volume of 5m3 with dimensions of (L, H, W) as 2.0m, 2.0m and 1,25m respectively. The two parameters temperature and salinity concentration profiles were evaluated through the measurements of the solar pond with respect to time. The experimental result shows that the bottom layer has a higher temperature and it reached a maximum temperature of 85 ℃ after 100 hour of operating. In this experiment, the thermal insulation for the pond was successful to keep the boundaries isolated that made it possible to extract the thermal energy stored in the bottom zone during the day time, continuously, while maintaining the stability of the solar pond. The total cost of the pond was about $35/sqm, in which the cost of the salt represents 45% of the total cost of the solar pond which is relatively cheap. Therefore, constructing the ponds close to the Dead Sea area is a cheaper alternative. Resulting low cost of utilizing thermal energy that could be a valuable option for multistage flash desalination plant that is functioning below 100 ℃. The operation of this pond reveals that solar pond technology in the Dead Sea area, as compared with other methods of using solar thermal energy for power generation, is more efficient especially for the utilities where direct thermal energy is required.

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