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Research Papers

Solar Flash Desalination Under Hydrostatically Sustained Vacuum

[+] Author and Article Information
Mohammad Abutayeh

Department of Chemical Engineering, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL 33620

D. Yogi Goswami

Clean Energy Research Center, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL 33620

J. Sol. Energy Eng 131(3), 031016 (Jul 14, 2009) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3142724 History: Received October 28, 2008; Revised February 06, 2009; Published July 14, 2009

A new desalination scheme has been proposed. The 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 the 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. A theoretical simulation of the proposed model was carried out using a detailed model built by employing the fundamental physical and thermodynamic relationships to describe the process and was complimented by reliable empirical correlations to estimate the physical properties of the involved species and the operational parameters of the proposed system. The simulation results show that running the system at higher flash temperatures with a fixed flash chamber size will result in faster vacuum erosion leading to less overall evaporation.

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Copyright © 2009 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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References

Figures

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Figure 1

Passive vacuum desalination system

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Figure 2

Passive vacuum flash desalination system

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Figure 3

Proposed desalination system

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Figure 4

Multistage configuration of the proposed system

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Figure 5

Flash temperature effect on solar collection area

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Figure 6

Flash temperature effect on boiling point elevation

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Figure 7

Flash temperature effect on nonequilibrium

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Figure 8

Flash temperature effect on total cycle time

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Figure 9

Flash temperature effect on production rate

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Figure 10

Flash temperature effect on production amount

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