Experimental and theoretical simulations of a novel sustainable desalination process have been carried out. The simulated process consists of pumping seawater through a solar heater before flashing it under vacuum in an elevated chamber. Vacuum is passively created and then maintained by the hydrostatic balance between pressure inside the elevated flash chamber and outdoor atmospheric pressure. Experimental simulations were carried out using a pilot unit built to depict the proposed desalination system. Theoretical simulations were performed using a detailed computer code employing fundamental physical and thermodynamic laws to describe the separation process, complimented by experimentally based correlations to estimate physical properties of the involved species and operational parameters of the proposed system setting it apart from previous empirical desalination models. Experimental and theoretical simulation results matched well, validating the developed model. Feasibility of the proposed system rapidly increased with flash temperature due to increased fresh water production and improved heat recovery. In addition, the proposed desalination system is naturally sustainable by solar radiation and gravity, making it very energy efficient.
Theoretical and Experimental Simulation of Passive Vacuum Solar Flash Desalination
Contributed by the Solar Energy Division of ASME for publication in the Journal of Solar Energy Engineering. Manuscript received May 18, 2011; final manuscript received October 14, 2012; published online January 25, 2013. Assoc. Editor: Mario Motta.
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Abutayeh, M., Yogi Goswami, D., and Stefanakos, E. K. (January 25, 2013). "Theoretical and Experimental Simulation of Passive Vacuum Solar Flash Desalination." ASME. J. Sol. Energy Eng. May 2013; 135(2): 021013. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4023180
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