A comprehensive review on performance improvement of solar desalination with applications of heat pipes
School of Engineering
Solar desalination is one of the crucial methods to convert brackish water to freshwater. The major issue of solar desalination is the low water production rate, and for this reason, several studies have been performed on increasing the productivity of solar desalination with active methods, including heat pipe (thermosyphon, pulsating), energy storage material, photovoltaic/thermal, etc. The operating fluid into the heat pipe/pulsating heat pipe evaporates as the temperature increases in the evaporation area and flows to the condensation area. After transferring the heat to the outside, working fluid recycles from the heat pipe walls into the evaporation zone. A heat pipe is a practical and easy-to-use device for transferring heat from a high-temperature energy application to water in solar desalination and to enhance the evaporation rate. This study aims to review the performance of solar desalination systems with heat pipes and pulsating heat pipes. Also, a comprehensive effort has been dedicated to comparing the working fluids of the heat pipe/pulsating heat pipe in different configurations of solar desalination. Moreover, a brief economic analysis of previous studies has been presented for a cost-effective design of solar desalination using thermosyphon heat pipes and pulsating heat pipes. The results indicated that the optimum filling ration of water as a working fluid in pulsating heat pipe was about 40 %. Also, the lowest CPL was achieved in solar desalination with heat pipe evacuated tube, which was about 0.0092 $/L. In addition, the highest improve in productivity was occurred in solar desalination with THP and external condenser, which was 2.13 times more than conventional ones.