Optimization of the reliability of seawater desalination plant systems through maintenance modelling

B.M.I. Alkali, A. Al Hinai, C. Zhou, M. Farrag

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The adequacy of reliability and maintenance is an important factor in water desalination plants. Desalination plant energy recovery system deteriorates due to the accumulation of solid particles on the internal surfaces of membranes. Scaling and fouling of the membrane are considered to be one of the main reasons for reduction in plant performance and large numbers of breakdown events. This study focuses on investigating the operating costs of the excessive use of energy as a result of inadequate maintenance strategies on selected critical equipment in a water desalination plant. A comprehensive failure mode and effect analysis is conducted on the plant critical equipment to identify their failure modes and their impacts on the plant’s overall efficiency. A reliability analysis of 5 years historical failure data of the reverse osmosis plant is conducted and the results are compared against the competing failure modes identified. The framework of a classical competing risk model is presented and conditional independent multiple competing risk models are proposed. A simulation example using the failure data collected is proposed and simulated results of the models cost curve show optimisation of cost effective maintenance schedules for the plant critical equipments.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-13
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of COMADEM
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2014


  • Seawater desalination
  • Plant systems
  • Optimisation
  • Reliability
  • Maintenance modelling
  • Scaling and fouling
  • Risk models


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