- Natural freshwater availability is decreasing as the global population increases. Advances in desalination technologies aim to produce fresh water in an economical way. More sustainable energy sources are desired for these desalination plants to limit the carbon footprint of water production since global carbon dioxide production is exacerbating freshwater scarcity. Solar thermal energy is desirable because the technology is much more efficient at producing the heat required for desalination than traditional photovoltaic solar energy. Dr. Bahman Abbasi, Dr. Nicholas AuYeung, Dr. James Klausner, Dr. Jelena Srebric, Dr. Chris Hagen, Dr. Behrooz Abbasi, Mohammed Elhashimi, and Deepak Sharma have been designing a mobile desalination unit that utilizes humidification-dehumidification cycles to desalinate water. The system is to be powered by a solar thermal system. The primary objective of this report is to provide a comparison between available heat transfer fluids and solar collectors used in this solar thermal system as well as provide a preliminary economic analysis of the system.