Power engineers of the Ural Federal University (UrFU) have developed a new way to desalinate water that will significantly reduce the cost of desalination and allow increasing the production volume fourfold. The development may be especially needed in the Middle East and Africa where there is a hot climate and shortage of fresh water. The results of the study are published in the journal Case Studies in Thermal Engineering.
One of the most popular and simple methods of desalination today is water distillation using solar energy. UrFU scientists, together with colleagues from Iraq, have developed a hybrid technology to increase the efficiency of evaporation inside a solar distillator by means of a rotating hollow cylinder and a solar collector, the university's website explains.
As part of the experiment, the rotation speed of the cylinder inside the solar distiller was 0.5 revolutions per minute. This intensity and time is enough to evaporate a thin film of water from the surface of the cylinder. The tests, which took place in Yekaterinburg from June to October 2019, showed high efficiency and reliability of the developed device. Thus, the coefficient of performance improvement of the created solar distiller, in comparison with traditional devices, was not less than 280% in relatively hot months (June, July and August) and not less than 300% and 400% in cooler months (September and October).
In the future, scientists plan to improve the technology and increase the performance of the solar distiller at the lowest possible capital and operating costs for different climatic conditions.
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Author: Karina Kamalova