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Heat and Mass Transfer Analysis of a Water and Solute Separation System: Using Solar Thermal Energy for Water Desalination

[+] Author Affiliations
Peiwen Li, Aditya Peri, Hongzhang Ma

The University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ

Yingwen Chen

Nanjing Tech University, Nanjing, China

Paper No. ES2015-49492, pp. V002T18A008; 7 pages
  • ASME 2015 9th International Conference on Energy Sustainability collocated with the ASME 2015 Power Conference, the ASME 2015 13th International Conference on Fuel Cell Science, Engineering and Technology, and the ASME 2015 Nuclear Forum
  • Volume 2: Photovoltaics; Renewable-Non-Renewable Hybrid Power System; Smart Grid, Micro-Grid Concepts; Energy Storage; Solar Chemistry; Solar Heating and Cooling; Sustainable Cities and Communities, Transportation; Symposium on Integrated/Sustainable Building Equipment and Systems; Thermofluid Analysis of Energy Systems Including Exergy and Thermoeconomics; Wind Energy Systems and Technologies
  • San Diego, California, USA, June 28–July 2, 2015
  • Conference Sponsors: Advanced Energy Systems Division, Solar Energy Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5685-7
  • Copyright © 2015 by ASME


A concept and the associated device of thermal-driven water treatment to fully separate water and solute have been proposed. The device is integrated to a conventional multi-effect-distillation water treatment system to achieve high energy efficiency and 100% water extraction using high temperature thermal energy. In the water treatment system, water for reclamation is sprayed into droplets which fall into hot, dry air and creates very effective convective heat transfer between water droplets and hot airflow. During the heat transfer process, water is vaporized for pure water collection while the crystallized solute from the reclamation water settles down to the bottom for collection. The current study investigates the energy consumption versus water treatment in the system, the correlation of the size of droplets and the temperature of hot air, and the mass heat distribution in subsystems or devices. Results from the study provide important guidance to the design of such a water treatment system.

Copyright © 2015 by ASME



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