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Experimental Characterisation and Modelling of a Membrane Distillation Module Coupled to aFlat Plate Solar Collector Field
Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Energy Technology.
2018 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

An experimental characterisation of a pre-commercial spiral wound permeate gap membrane distillation module was carried out to test its performance at different operating conditions for the purpose of seawater desalination. The experimental setup consisted of a flat plate solar collector field indirectly coupled to the permeate gap membrane distillation module via an inertia tank. The operating parameters varied were the condenser inlet temperature (from 20 °C to 30 °C), evaporator inlet temperature (from 60 °C to 80 °C) and seawater feed flow rate (from 200 l/h to 400 l/h). Within this operational boundary, it was found that the maximum permeate/distillate flux was 4.135 l/(h∙m2) which equates to a distillate production/flow rate of close to 21.3 l/h. The maximum potential distillate production rate is expected to be significantly higher than this value though as the maximum manufacturer specified feed flow rate is 700 l/h and the maximum evaporator inlet temperature is rated at 90 °C. Both these parameters are positively related to the distillate production rate. The minimum specific thermal energy consumption was found to be 180 kWh/m3.

A mathematical model of the overall system was developed, and experimentally validated, to mathematically describe the coupling of the membrane distillation module with a solar collector field. The effectiveness of internal heat recovery of the membrane distillation module was found to be an accurate and simple tool to evaluate the thermal energy demand of the distillation process at a given set of operation parameters. The mathematical model was used to further investigate the experimental findings and provide insights into the operational dynamics of the membrane distillation module. It was also used to determine some external conditions required for steady state operation, at a given distillation operating point, such as the minimum solar irradiation required for operation and the auxiliary cooling required in the solar collector loop for maintaining steady state conditions.

Finally, general guidelines are provided toward better operational practices to improve the coupling of a solar thermal collector unit/field with a membrane distillation system using a storage tank or inertia tank.

 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018.
Keywords [en]
Solar thermal, solar desalination, membrane distillation, permeate gap membrane distillation, spiral-wound module
National Category
Energy Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:du-28186OAI: oai:DiVA.org:du-28186DiVA, id: diva2:1232814
Available from: 2018-07-12 Created: 2018-07-12

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