• Document: FIELD TESTING OF PHOTOVOLTAIC ELECTRO-CHLORINATION APPLICATION IN SALT WATER SWIMMING POOLS
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FIELD TESTING OF PHOTOVOLTAIC ELECTRO-CHLORINATION APPLICATION IN SALT WATER SWIMMING POOLS Kame Y. Khouzam School of Electrical & Electronic Systems Engineering Queensland University of Technology GPO Box 2434, Brisbane, QLD 4000 AUSTRALIA Telephone: +61 07 3864 2483 Facsimile: +61 07 3864 1516 E-mail: k.khouzam@qut.edu.au Abstract The process of electro-chlorination by photovoltaic was demonstrated for producing liquid chlorine in swimming pools. The system comprises a PV array, an electrolysis unit made of specially designed anti-corrosive electrode, and associated instrumentation. Results showed that proper matching can be achieved by carefully selecting the PV parameters w.r.t. the electrolytic load. Using PV for water chlorination is an effective method to semi-automate the input of chlorine into the pool. The process offers technical and environmental advantages, and savings in electricity bills. This project aims to develop commercial PV chlorinators for application in private and public swimming pools for local and export markets. 1 INTRODUCTION Most chlorine is industrially produced by the electrolysis of salt water (sodium chloride). This involves the passage of direct current through salty water to produce chlorine gas at the positive electrode. Chlorine and its compounds are used extensively for disinfecting municipal water supplies, for bleaching in the paper and textile industries, for household bleaches and germicides, and for the production of many organic and inorganic chemicals. In this project, photovoltaic (PV) power was applied to specially designed electrode cells for the production of liquid chlorine (sodium hypochlorite) for use in in-line chlorination in salt water swimming pools. Several systems were installed in public and residential pool sites. Each system comprises PV panels, electrolysis cell, associated control and data acquisition and are monitored for twelve months. Data include voltage and current, solar radiation, temperature, chlorine level, pH, water temperature and quality, and pool usage. The PV-based chlorinator project received funding from the Office of Sustainable Energy Industries, Environmental Protection Agency under state approved “Queensland Sustainable Energy Innovation Fund”. A feasibility analysis began in 2000 to develop an alternative PV power source to replace mains power for the production of chlorine in salt water swimming pools. The new system must offer the same level of performance (if not better) as offered existing commercial power units. The proposed PV chlorinator system must be simple to operate, safe and cost effective. The testing phase of the project was concerned with the chlorination parameters and the economic study. The second phase of the project seeks to: • Install the world’s first PV-based chlorination systems for water treatment in public and private pools. • Analyze electro-chlorination parameters, solar radiation, and correlation to pool usage for optimum performance. • Get customer feedback for further development of PV chlorinators and boost confidence among consumers in the product. • Develop a commercial turn-key package suitable for domestic and public pools and facilitate the marketing of PV based chlorinators. Field Testing of Photovoltaic Electro-Chlorination Application in Salt Water Swimming Pools K.Khouzam Allchlor Pty Ltd, project partner, with Queensland University of Technology have been working on the development of the PV-chlorinator system and on experimenting of electrolytic parameters and electrode materials and coatings. Work is also underway to develop a new electrode to better match the PV characteristic to provide for higher performance. Several types of electrodes (low and high voltage) are being experimented and further enhancement will be made to design a choice electrode. Additional funding has been provided to achieve the following goals: 1. Expand the use of PV power to water pumping and filtration. 2. Improve overall system performance. This includes integrating the system to the grid. Other backup options will also be considered. 3. Consider alternative electro-chlorination methods. 2 SWIMMING POOL CHLORINATORS Salt water chlorinators have been in the market for over thirty years and their technology is well known. The principle of operation is as follows: salt is added to the swimming pool water, bringing its salinity to a level of between 5,000 and 9,000 parts per million. Salt is periodically added since the salinity level may drop due to flooding, or when water is lost through overflowing

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