Technological Advances in Solar Thermal Desalination

Technological Advances in Solar Thermal Desalination

Even though more than 70% of our planet's surface is covered with water, water scarcity, i.e., lack of access to clean drinking water, is widespread and remains on the rise: it is found in both growing and developed economies. Further, driven by declining freshwater resources and increasing water demand around the world, water utilities have begun looking towards desalinated seawater as an ideal candidate to narrow the water supply-demand gap. As of now, most of the desalinated water comes by using reverse osmosis (RO) based water desalination technology, which has challenges of its own such as environmental issues due to brine water disposal, high energy requirement, and high capital cost involved.

Policy-level initiatives for emission reduction have also resulted in driving technological advancements towards sustainable practices, such as solar thermal desalination. These technologies have a far lower carbon footprint, are potentially more cost-effective, and can be scaled relatively more effectively. Most of the technological advancements in the field of Solar Thermal Desalination focuses on optimizing the following aspects: economics of the process, operational reliability, and dependence of the process on the operational area’s climate conditions and elevations. Researchers are actively exploring technological solutions such as nanoparticles, nanophotonics, plasmonics, and specially fabricated photothermal membranes for enhanced conversion of solar irradiation to heat energy, for generating water vapors.

This research, ‘Technological Advances in Solar Thermal Desalination’ focuses on the emerging innovations and the latest developments in the Solar Thermal Desalination technologies and the respective technology readiness levels. In addition to the above, major and existing desalination technologies along with growth opportunities for industry participants is provided.

The study deeply illustrates the following:

Overview of the Solar Thermal Desalination Technologies
Key stakeholders involved in Solar Thermal Desalination
IP Analysis
Growth opportunities


  • Strategic Imperatives
    • Why Is It Increasingly Difficult to Grow?
    • The Strategic Imperative 8™
    • The Impact of the Top Two Strategic Imperatives on the Solar Thermal Desalination Industry
    • Growth Opportunities Fuel the Growth Pipeline Engine™
    • Research Process & Methodology
    • Research Scope – Foreseeing Challenges and Solutions
  • Solar Thermal Desalination – Growth Environment Overview
    • Technology Definition and Indications
    • Widening Water Demand Supply Gap Driving Desalination Technology Adoption
    • Reliability, Cost, and Geographical Dependence Identified as Key Challenges Associated with STD Adoption
    • R&D Activities Enabling Adoption of STD Technology
  • Advances in Solar Thermal Desalination Technology
    • Technological Advancements in Solar Thermal Desalination
      • Light To Heat Energy Conversion
      • Thermal Vapor Generation & Vapor Condensation
    • Other Prominent Technological Advances in Solar Thermal Desalination
  • Technology and IP - Landscape
    • China Leads R&D Activity in Solar Thermal Desalination Technologies
  • Growth Opportunities and Insights
    • Nanophotonics Exhibits Great Potential for Future Solar Thermal Desalination Plants
    • Integration of Technologies Such as Energy Storage or Heat Exchangers Drives Innovations in Solar Thermal Desalination
    • Collaborations Among Water Utilities, Technology Providers, and Research Institutes to Drive Technological Advancements
  • Key Contacts

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