The significant changes of population, environment and climate have led to the increased need for freshwater. However, the shortage of naturally available freshwater is becoming more frequent than ever. Desalination, removal of salt and other minerals from seawater, brackish water, and wastewater, is a promising solution to provide the increasing need of freshwater. Multi stage flashing (MSF) and multi effect distillation (MED) can be classified as conventional thermal-driven desalination technologies. Nevertheless, the disposal of high concentrated brine is a big environmental concern. Despite the tremendous improvements in conventional desalination technology, the desalination process is very energy consuming. Due to high expenses of the conventional energy resources, renewable energy sources can provide alternatives.
Considering the fact that Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) has been significantly developed during the past two decades, inorganic salts are the perfect candidates as Heat Transfer Fluid (HTF) for high temperature applications in solar thermal energy storage, fully separating water and salts in the desalination process arises naturally, since the leftover salts can be collected instead of disposing them to the environment. A full separation multi effect distillation (FSMED) system was proposed by other researchers, where the air fed to the full separation tank (FST) is preheated by a heat source, and the highly concentrated brine from the last effect is sprayed in the FST, so that the brine droplets can be completely evaporated by leaving behind inorganic salts. Obviously, the full separation process of salts and water involves multiphase heat and mass transfer. However, a key question is the characterization of the lifetime of brine droplets inside the FST during its entire evaporation process, and the effects from the internal circulation to droplet evaporation. If the droplet has strong internal circulation, the definition of two stages of evaporation becomes inaccurate, it has to be corrected based on the detailed calculation of time scale at each stage. In the current study, a 1D quasi-steady evaporation model was developed to characterize the effects from internal circulation to the life cycle of droplets in the FST, compared with the results using the dynamic evaporation model. To simplify the analysis, water droplet with impurity particles was considered, and a case study was also provided to compare the life cycle of water droplets without internal circulation. Finally, a correction to the definition of two-stage of water droplet evaporation was provided. It is expected that the computation results will be beneficial for thermal driven desalination community.