The Water and Electricity Sector in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi utilises a mixture of plant technologies as outlined below:
- Combined Cycle Gas Turbine (CCGT). This is the dominant technology employed in the power production sector in Abu Dhabi. The exhaust gases from the Gas Turbine are delivered to a heat recovery steam generator (HRSG). The high pressure high temperature generated in the in the HRSG is then delivered to Steam Turbine to generate more power. The plant is normally coupled to a thermal desalination plant such as multi stage flash (MSF) device to produce water.
- Simple cycle Gas Turbine or open cycle gas turbine (OCGT) is another type adopted by the sector. The exhaust heat is not recovered and no desalination unit is coupled to the plant.
- Thermal Plant. This relies on conventional boiler and steam turbine technology. Steam is also extracted to be utilised in multi stage flash device to produce water.
- Wind Power. Utilises wind to rotate turbines which drive an electricity generator. The UAE has its own wind turbine located at Sir Bani Yas Island off the Abu Dhabi coast. The single unite can generate up to 0.8 MW.
- Diesel Generators. This is a combination of diesel engine with an electric generator to generate electricity. Diesel generators are used iin places without connection to the power grid (e.g. small coastal islands) or as emergency power-supply if the grid fails (hospitals, government buildings, palaces, etc.)
- Multi Stage Flash (MSF) desalination. Flashing a portion of the sea water into steam in multiple stages. Basically sea water is heated before it gets admitted into a chamber or stage with pressure less than the heated sea water. The sudden introduction of this water into a lower pressure "stage" causes it to boil so rapidly as to flash into steam. The remaining water will be sent through a series of additional stages, each possessing a lower ambient pressure than the previous "stage". The steam is condensed into pure water.
- Multi Effect Desalination (MED). Vapors from the first evaporator condense in the second and their heat of condensation serve to boil the sea water in the second evaporator. In plainer terms, the second condenser acts as a condenser for the vapors of the first which in turn acts as a heater for the water in that evaporator. Each evaporator in the series is called an "effect".
- Reverse Osmosis (RO) is a separation process that uses pressure to force water (sea water) through a membrane that retains the sea salt on one side and allows the pure water to pass to the other side. Because no heating or phase changes are needed, energy requirements are low in comparison to other desalination processes.