Project title:

Design and Manufacturing of Solar Power Systems and Devices for Challenging Environments


MIT Investigators KFUPM Side

MIT Investigators

MIT Side:

PI- Steven Dubowsky, ME

CI- Steven Eppinger

CI- Richard Weisman

PI- Anwar K Sheikh, ME

CI- AFM Arif, ME

CI- P. Gandidhasan, ME

CI- Moustafa El Shafei, SE

CI-  Haitham Bahaidrah, ME

CI-  M A Gondal , CHE

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MIT 5 weeks MIT visit 2010

Dr. Elshafei  with Dr. Steven Dubowsky and members of his team.


PATENTS: Moustafa Elshafei, SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR AUTOMATIC POSITIONING OF A SOLAR ARRAY”,  US Patent Application No: 13/033,434, 02/23/2011, Examined and allowed



Water Desalination Using Solar Energy  June 2011

 Mohannad Al-Haisamawi , Mahmoud Al Faqi, and Amro Messaoudi



Principle of operation:


Water Desalination using Solar Energy is a joint project between KFUPM and MIT under Clean Water and Clean Energy Collaboration Center (CCWCE). The objective of this project is to efficiently utilize solar energy to desalinate water.

In this project water is desalinated using Reverse Osmosis (RO) concept. The water desalination plant is run completely by the power generated using a photovoltaic module and thus making the entire process completely green. In addition, the solar panel is equipped with a solar tracking system. Different measurements are being collected continuously while the system is running. These measurements indicate the status of the systems parameters and are used to control the system and determine the quality of the product. The whole process is monitored and controlled using two separate fieldpoint controllers (one is for desalination plant and the other is for Solar panel system). The main process parameters can then be displayed on a Human Machine Interface (HMI) for operators’ convenience.

Additionally, the two fieldpoint controllers are connected to a local area network. Thus, all process parameters are displayed on a single HMI providing the user with a comprehensive picture of the system operation. The local area network also enables remote monitoring and control of the process by running the HMI from any computer on the network.




·        We have developed a comprehensive nonlinear simulation model for Photovoltaic Reverse Osmosis system.

·        Investigating control and optimization techniques to minimize the cost of fresh water, and maximize fresh water per solar KWH.

·        We are evaluating the performance of Energy recovery methods as Clark pump and Pearson pump, and Investigating new low cost design for Energy recovery with variable water recovery ratio.


Lab development:

Dr. Anwar Elshaikh(ME), and Dr. Moustafa Elshafei (SE)

Parker Marine water desalination system

TRUNZ  Solar powered Brackish water desalination system


Graduate Students

M.Sc.   Riaz Ahmed, Systems Engineering

M.Sc.   Khalid Al-Shehri, Systems Engineering Department

Ph.D.   Naseer Ahmed, Mechanical Engineering Department