Supply-chain Network Optimization of Energy Storage Systems in Desalination Operations


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Abstract: Recent proposals and investigations on repurposing desalination concentrate as a viable low-cost thermal energy storage (TES) material has revealed that depending on operational parameters such as capacity and location, the cost of TES can be well below the cost targets of the Department of Energy (i.e., $15/kWh). Mass adoption of this technology leads to reduced tipping fees and utilizing the wasted concentrate from desalination process in the mass production of TES modules that can be used for storing heat in various applications. In this paper, we conceptualize and optimize the broad operations of the discussed method on a large scale, as a closed-loop supply-chain network optimization model. Furthermore, a business model and business-level strategy are developed to promote and maintain a sustainable and economic supply-chain network for TES development form water desalination. The supply chain network model is formulated as a mixed integer program (MIP), conforming to the recent developments in TES from desalination waste, followed by numerical analysis to obtain insight for developing policies that optimize the adoption of this technology.