Creating vacuum conditions above liquids increases their evaporation rates. This phenomenon can be integrated into a practical continuous desalination process by repeatedly flashing seawater in vacuumed chambers to produce water vapor that condenses afterwards producing fresh water. Gravity can be used to balance the hydrostatic pressure inside the flash chambers with the outdoor atmospheric pressure to maintain that vacuum, while low grade solar radiation can be used to add heat to seawater before flashing. The proposed desalination system consists of a saline water tank, a concentrated brine tank, and a fresh water tank placed on ground level plus an evaporator and a condenser located several meters above ground. The evaporator-condenser assembly, or flash chamber, is initially filled with saline water that later drops by gravity creating a vacuum above the water surface in the unit without a vacuum pump. The vacuum is maintained by the internal hydrostatic pressure balanced by the atmospheric pressure. The ground tanks are open to the atmosphere, while the flash chamber is insulated and sealed to retain both heat and vacuum.
- Advanced Energy Systems Division and Solar Energy Division
Solar Flash Desalination Under Hydrostatically Sustained Vacuum
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Abutayeh, M, & Goswami, Y. "Solar Flash Desalination Under Hydrostatically Sustained Vacuum." Proceedings of the ASME 2008 2nd International Conference on Energy Sustainability collocated with the Heat Transfer, Fluids Engineering, and 3rd Energy Nanotechnology Conferences. ASME 2008 2nd International Conference on Energy Sustainability, Volume 2. Jacksonville, Florida, USA. August 10–14, 2008. pp. 639-647. ASME. https://doi.org/10.1115/ES2008-54075
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