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Wave-Powered Desalination

[+] Author Affiliations
Brian Stiber, Asfaw Beyene

San Diego State University, San Diego, CA

Paper No. POWER2015-49087, pp. V001T01A001; 9 pages
  • ASME 2015 Power Conference collocated with the ASME 2015 9th International Conference on Energy Sustainability, the ASME 2015 13th International Conference on Fuel Cell Science, Engineering and Technology, and the ASME 2015 Nuclear Forum
  • ASME 2015 Power Conference
  • San Diego, California, USA, June 28–July 2, 2015
  • Conference Sponsors: Power Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5660-4
  • Copyright © 2015 by ASME


Climate change, drought, population growth and increased energy and water costs are all forces driving exploration into alternative, sustainable resources. The abundance of untapped wave energy often presents an opportunity for research into exploiting this resource to meet the energy and water needs of populated coastal regions. This paper investigates the potential and impact of harnessing wave energy for the purpose of seawater desalination. First the SWAN wave modeling software was used to evaluate the size and character of the wave resource. These data are used to estimate the cost of water for wave-powered desalination taking a specific region as a case example. The results indicate that, although the cost of water from this technology is not economically competitive at this time, the large available resource confirms the viability of significantly supplementing current freshwater supplies. The results also confirm that research into the feasibility of wave power as a source of energy and water in the area is warranted, particularly as water and energy become more scarce and expensive coinciding with the maturity of commercial wave energy conversion.

Copyright © 2015 by ASME
Topics: Waves



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