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Energy and exergy analyses of a PWR type nuclear power plant coupled with ME-TVC-MED desalination

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Jie ZhangORCiD



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


Electricity–water cogeneration power plants are an important tool for advancing sustainablewater treatment technologies because they provide a cost-effective and environmentally friendlysolution for meeting the energy and water needs of communities. By integrating power and waterproduction, these technologies can reduce carbon emissions and help mitigate the impact of climatechange. This work deals with the energy and exergy analysis of a cogeneration plant for electricalpower generation and water desalination using real operational data. The power side is a pressurizedwater reactor (PWR) nuclear power plant (NPP), while the desalination side is a multi-effectdistillation (MED) system with a thermo-vapor compressor (TVC) plant coupled with a conventionalmulti-effect plant (ME-TVC-MED). A mathematical model was implemented in MATLAB softwareand validated through a comparison with previously published research. The exergy analysis wascarried out based on the second law of thermodynamics to evaluate the irreversibility of the plantand the subsystems. In this study, the components of the sub-systems were analyzed separately toidentify and quantify the component that has a high loss of energy and exergy. According to theenergy and exergy analyses, the highest source of irreversibility occurs in the reactor core with 50% ofthe total exergy destruction. However, turbines, steam generators, and condensers also contributeto energy loss. Further, the thermodynamic efficiency of the cogeneration plant was obtained as35.38%, which is more effective than other systems. In the ME-TVC-MED desalination unit, the mainsources of energy losses are located in the evaporators and the thermo-compressor (about 50% and36%, respectively). Moreover, the exergetic efficiency of the ME-TVC-MED unit was found to be lowat 6.43%, indicating a high degree of technical inefficiency in the desalination process. Therefore,many opportunities exist to improve the performance of the cogeneration system.

Publication metadata

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

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Sustainability

Year: 2023

Volume: 15

Issue: 10

Print publication date: 21/05/2023

Online publication date: 21/05/2023

Acceptance date: 18/05/2023

Date deposited: 04/07/2023

ISSN (electronic): 2071-1050

Publisher: MDPI


DOI: 10.3390/su15108358


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Funder referenceFunder name
DG-RSDT of Algeria
No 303 03-12-2003