Effect of solar canals on evaporation, water quality, and power production: An optimization study
Both energy and availability of water with good quality are essential for the well-being of humans. Thus, it is very important to study the parameters that would affect water quality, so as to come up with mitigation measures if water quality would be at risk or negatively affected. Moreover, it is very important to always search for new energy resources, especially if they are renewable. This research study is concerned with studying solar canals and their effect on evaporation and water quality variables of canals covered by solar cells, as well as the effect on power production. Both a mathematical model and an optimization study were done, in order to determine the previously mentioned effects, and thus, to determine the most favorable covering percentage of the case study canal's area that would lead to minimum evaporation volumes, maximum power, and yet preserving and meeting the standards of the water quality variables of the covered waterway. Water quality variables that were investigated are dissolved oxygen concentration, algae, nutrients, and pH of the water. It was found that, between 33% and 50% covering of the canal, the optimum conditions will be met. © 2020 by the authors.