Research Papers: Alternative Energy Sources

Significance of Transient Exergy Terms in a New Tray Design Solar Desalination Device

[+] Author and Article Information
Gregory J. Kowalski

Associate Professor
ASME Fellow
Department of Mechanical
and Industrial Engineering,
Northeastern University,
Boston, MA 02115
e-mail: gkowal@coe.neu.edu

Masoud Modaresifar

Department of Mechanical
and Industrial Engineering,
Northeastern University,
Boston, MA 02115
e-mail: Modaresifar.m@husky.neu.edu

Mansour Zenouzi

ASME Fellow
Department of Mechanical Engineering
and Technology,
Wentworth Institute of Technology,
Boston, MA 02115
e-mail: zenouzim@wit.edu

Contributed by the Advanced Energy Systems Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF ENERGY RESOURCES TECHNOLOGY. Manuscript received March 7, 2014; final manuscript received May 6, 2014; published online August 1, 2014. Editor: Hameed Metghalchi.

J. Energy Resour. Technol 137(1), 011201 (Aug 01, 2014) (8 pages) Paper No: JERT-14-1068; doi: 10.1115/1.4027764 History: Received March 07, 2014; Revised May 06, 2014

An investigation of the transient exergy property term, exergy storage, for a new desalination tray design was performed. It was illustrated that exergy destruction rates provide a means of comparing alternative energy solutions and a measure of their sustainability. To satisfy these objectives one needs accurate calculation of exergy destruction rates. It was confirmed that neglecting the exergy storage term is not a valid approximation for the hourly and daily averaged values of the second law analysis. For a solar desalination system neglecting the exergy storage terms introduced a maximum difference in the exergy destruction rate of 7.4% and a difference of 7.3% in the daily average. In the solar desalination process with energy recovery the second law performance is greater than that for the reverse osmosis (RO) process, the chief competitor, when the exergy storage terms are correctly included in the analysis. The results demonstrate that for variable energy sources such as renewable energy systems, the second law analysis provides a measure of the sustainability of competing system and that the exergy storage terms should be included in the analysis.

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Fig. 1

Schematic diagram of the tray design solar still. The incident solar radiation is absorbed on the absorber plate and the energy is conducted into the water tray. The evaporated water vapor is condensed on the shaded rear surface where the freshwater is collected.

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Fig. 2

Schematic diagram of exergy balance for a solar still distillation system

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Fig. 3

The summary of the predicted incident radiation and ambient temperature for the two days investigated July 15 and Dec. 15 for the Boston Massachusetts, USA region

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Fig. 4

Comparison of the water temperatures in the tray design solar desalination units with the solar temperature. The performance for the July design day is shown.

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Fig. 5

Schematic diagram of exergy balance for solar still distillation system with recovery

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Fig. 6

Comparison of the freshwater production for the tray design for recovery and nonrecovery. The performance for the July is shown.




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