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Analysis of Desalination Performance with a Thermal Vapor Compression System

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Jie ZhangORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© 2023 by the authors.Multi-effect distillation with thermal vapor compression (MED-TVC) is a highly energy-efficient desalination technology that can provide a reliable and sustainable source of high-quality water, particularly in areas with limited energy infrastructure and water resources. In this study, a numerical model based on exergoeconomic approach is developed to analyze the economic performance of a MED-TVC system for seawater desalination. A parallel/cross feed configuration is considered because of its high energy efficiency. In addition, a parametric study is performed to evaluate the effects of some operational parameters on the total water price, such as the top brine temperature, seawater temperature, motive steam flow rate, and number of effects. The obtained results indicate that the total water price is in the range of 1.73 USD/m3 for a distilled water production of 55.20 kg/s. Furthermore, the exergy destructions in the effects account for 45.8% of the total exergy destruction. The MED effects are also identified to be the most relevant component from an exergoeconomic viewpoint. Careful attention should be paid to these components. Of the total cost associated with the effects, 75.1% is due to its high thermodynamic inefficiency. Finally, the parametric study indicates that adjusting the top brine temperature, the cooling seawater temperature, the motive steam flow rate, and the number of effects has a significant impact on the TWP, which varies between 1.42 USD/m3 and 2.85 USD/m3.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Fergani Z, Triki Z, Menasri R, Tahraoui H, Kebir M, Amrane A, Moula N, Zhang J, Mouni L

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Water

Year: 2023

Volume: 15

Issue: 6

Online publication date: 21/03/2023

Acceptance date: 20/03/2023

Date deposited: 28/04/2023

ISSN (electronic): 2073-4441

Publisher: MDPI


DOI: 10.3390/w15061225


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