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Research Papers

Experimental Simulation of Solar Flash Desalination

[+] Author and Article Information
Mohammad Abutayeh

Department of Chemical Engineering, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL 33620abutayeh@mail.usf.edu

D. Yogi Goswami

Clean Energy Research Center, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL 33620goswami@eng.usf.edu

J. Sol. Energy Eng 132(4), 041015 (Oct 14, 2010) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4002557 History: Received November 23, 2009; Revised August 28, 2010; Published October 14, 2010; Online October 14, 2010

Experimental simulations of a sustainable desalination process have been carried out using a pilot unit. Experiments were conducted at analogous conditions to simplify design evaluation but with different values of the controlling variables to enhance analysis and modeling. The proposed desalination process, which employs solar heating and passive vacuum generation, has been theoretically simulated in earlier work. It entails flowing seawater through a condenser to preheat it and then through a heater before flashing it in a vacuumed evaporator connected to the condenser where the flashed hot vapor is condensed by the incoming cold seawater forming fresh water. All experiments were run for the same period of time starting at the same initial vacuum. Experiments were carried out at different seawater flow rates and different flash temperatures. In addition, each experiment was duplicated three times to validate its outcome. Flashing seawater at higher temperatures increases vaporization and fresh water production rate. In addition, the accumulating noncondensable gases that are slowly eroding the vacuum will decrease the overall vaporization with time, which reduces the production rate of fresh water.

Copyright © 2010 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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References

Figures

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Figure 1

Proposed solar flash desalination system

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Figure 2

Multistage configuration of the proposed system

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Figure 3

P&ID of experimental unit

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Figure 4

Data acquisition structure

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Figure 5

Overall view of experimental unit

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Figure 6

Data acquisition software

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Figure 7

PV profile for lower flow experiments

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Figure 8

TX profile for lower flow experiments

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Figure 9

TE profile for lower flow experiments

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Figure 10

TW profile for lower flow experiments

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Figure 11

Heat recovery profile for lower flow experiments

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Figure 12

PV profile for higher flow experiments

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Figure 13

TX profile for higher flow experiments

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Figure 14

TE profile for higher flow experiments

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Figure 15

TW profile for higher flow experiments

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Figure 16

Heat recovery profile for higher flow experiments

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