Development & Optimisation of a New Process for Desalination of Sea Water by Means of Solar Energy

Funding: EU INCO project (IC18-CT98-0265/DG12-CPDE)

Partners: Ruhr–Universitaet Bochum (DE), Agricultural University of Athens (GR), Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique et Technique (TΝ), Palestinian Energy & Environment Research Center

The SOLDES European project studied the development and optimization of new technologies regarding the desalination of sea water by means of Solar Energy. Purpose of the project was the construction and test run of a desalination plant with the use of innovative processes. In this unit, the humidifier pad plays the key role and is constructed by repeating layers of the cellulosic material, glued together. The hot air stream enters the three cassettes of the pad humidifier, while cold water is fed on top of them and driven downwards by gravity. The pad offers a large area–to–volume ratio, so that the evaporation of water and its entering in the gas mixture are favored.

Simtec created a Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) model to simulate the operation of a pad humidifier. Ansys Fluent was used for the numerical simulations and the model regarded a prototype of the pad humidifier designed by the Agricultural University of Athens and a final model for industrial-scale unit was created. The CFD model helped the design engineers to evaluate the intense mass and heat transfer phenomena on the pads.

Ansys tools: Ansys Fluent