Energies, 7(6), p. 3823-3839 (2014); doi:10.3390/en7063823
Capacitive De-Ionization (CDI) is becoming a suitable alternative for desalination. The low cost of the materials required and its reduced energy consumption can be critical factors for developing this technique. CDI technology does not require a high-pressure system and the energy storage capability of CDI cells allows it to be reused in other CDI cells, thus minimizing consumption. The goal of the power stage responsible of the energy recovery is transferring the stored energy from one cell to another with the maximum possible efficiency, thus allowing the desalination process to continue. Assuming hysteresis current control is implemented at the DC/DC (direct current) converter, this paper aims to determine the optimum peak current through the inductor in each switching period with a view to maximizing overall efficiency. The geometrical parameters of the desalination cell and the NaCl concentration modify the cell electrical properties. The peak current control of the power stage should be adapted to the cell characteristics so that the efficiency behavior of the whole CDI system can be improved. The mathematical model defined in this paper allows the CDI plant automation using the peak inductor current as control variable, adapting its value to the salt concentration during the desalination process.