Evaluation of Solar Parabolic Trough Collector for the Application of Seawater Desalination
Solar parabolic trough collector (PTC) was considered for seawater desalination under various flow and thermodynamic conditions while being subjected to a diurnal solar beam with seawater directly running through the PTC absorber. PTC are more economical and cost effective as well as they may yield the simplest systems. The governing equations applied to the PTC absorber were deduced from the energy and mass conservation principles and consequently numerical solutions were obtained using finite difference method. The numerical simulations were generated utilizing an in-house developed computer programs. The PTC was coupled directly with multi flash chambers. The results revealed that fresh water generation is sensitive to the vapor content of the saturated water in the PTC absorber as well as to the operating pressure; whereby the rate was observed to vary from 1.3 m3/day to slightly above 2.7 m3/day for the same PTC aperture area and under the same solar flux in the range of operations that were considered; thus demonstrating the importance of the operational conditions. Also, the results indicated that PTC are adequate for capturing solar energy by revealing that the rate of fresh water production was uniform for significant time of the sunshine period.
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