SODIS potential: A novel parameter to assess the suitability of solar water disinfection worldwide
This paper studies the worldwide applicability of solar water disinfection (SODIS) technology through a novel parameter: the SODIS potential. This parameter is defined as the inverse ratio between the required exposure time to achieve a four log disinfection of E. coli and the six hours recommended by the standard SODIS protocol. The E. coli inactivation kinetics was predicted by fitting the results under different temperature and incident radiation to a semi-empirical inactivation model, including a synergy term between bacterial stress sources (light/heat). To estimate the SODIS potential, a solar calculator was developed based on the Sun's position, atmospheric extinction, cloud-cover, and elevation. The time-varying total incident radiation available at any location worldwide was estimated for each day along the year during sunlight hours. The time-varying temperature was also estimated from minimum and maximum values, introducing its dynamic variation along with the solar exposure of the water. Both incident radiation and temperature values are input into the kinetic model to estimate the disinfection rate. Based on these values, the number of batch disinfections that can reach the goal of 99.99% bacterial elimination in 1 day and the minimum daily time required to achieve this goal is computed; the latter is finally transformed to the SODIS potential. The results of the study, illustrated as contours indicating the SODIS potential and other relevant indicators overlayed on a world map, confirm that latitude has a significant contribution to the SODIS potential, with the highest values close to the equator. However, the results also highlight the importance of temperature and cloud-cover, with critical differences between equal latitude regions.
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