This paper presents the optimization of a solar-powered humidification–dehumidification (HDH) desalination system for remote areas where it is assumed that only minimal external electric power (for operating control systems and auxiliaries) is available. This work builds on a previous system by disconnecting the condenser from the saline water cycle and by introducing a solar air heater (SAH) to further augment the humidification performance. In addition, improved thermal simulation models for the condenser and the humidifier are used to obtain more accurate productivity estimations. The heuristic gradient projection (HGP) optimization procedure is also refactored to reduce the number of function evaluations, to reach the minimum unit cost of produced fresh water, compared to genetic algorithms (GAs). A case study which assumes a desalination plant on the Red Sea near the city of Hurghada, Egypt, is presented. The optimum systems are shown to significantly reduce the unit cost of fresh water production below the reported minimum ($1.3/m3 compared to $3/m3), while keeping specific energy consumption within the reported range, 120–550 kWh/m3, for solar HDH systems.
Optimum Solar Humidification–Dehumidification Desalination for Microgrids and Remote Area Communities
Department of Mechanical Engineering,
American University in Cairo,
New Cairo 11835, Egypt;
Ain Shams University,
Cairo 11566, Egypt
Contributed by the Solar Energy Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF SOLAR ENERGY ENGINEERING: INCLUDING WIND ENERGY AND BUILDING ENERGY CONSERVATION. Manuscript received May 29, 2015; final manuscript received December 29, 2015; published online February 1, 2016. Assoc. Editor: M. Keith Sharp.
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Abd El-Aziz, K. M., Hamza, K., El-Morsi, M., Nassef, A. O., Metwalli, S. M., and Saitou, K. (February 1, 2016). "Optimum Solar Humidification–Dehumidification Desalination for Microgrids and Remote Area Communities." ASME. J. Sol. Energy Eng. April 2016; 138(2): 021005. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4032477
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