Numerical Study on Natural Vacuum Solar Desalination System with Varying Heat Source Temperature
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A natural vacuum desalination unit with varying low grade heat source temperature is investigated numerically. The objective is to explore the effects of the variable temperature of the low grade heat source on performances and characteristics of the desalination unit. The specifications of the desalination unit are naturally vacuumed with surface area of seawater in evaporator and heating coil are 0.2 m2 and 0.188 m2, respectively. Temperature of the heating coil is simulated based on the solar radiation in the Medan city. A program to solve the governing equations in forward time step marching technique is developed. Temperature of the evaporator, fresh water production rate, and thermal efficiency of the desalination unit are analysed. Simulation is performed for 9 hours, it starts from 8.00 and finishes at 17.00 of local time. The results show that, the desalination unit with operation time of 9 hours can produce 5.705 L of freshwater and thermal efficiency is 81.8 %. This reveals that varying temperature of the heat source of natural vacuum desalination unit shows better performance in comparison with constant temperature of the heat source.