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Original Title: Performance Analysis of a Heat Pump Driven Humidification-Dehumidification Desalination System

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Desalination

journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/desal

dehumidiﬁcation desalination system

⁎

Saeed Dehghani , Abhijit Date, Aliakbar Akbarzadeh

Energy Conversion and Renewable Energy Group, School of Automotive and Mechanical Engineering, RMIT University, Melbourne 3083, VIC, Australia

A R T I C LE I N FO A B S T R A C T

Keywords: In this paper, a humidiﬁcation-dehumidiﬁcation desalination HDH cycle with direct contact dehumidiﬁer is

Humidiﬁcation-dehumidiﬁcation coupled with a heat pump. The heat pump is introduced in order to simultaneously supply the cooling and

HDH heating loads of the HDH cycle. Next, by implementing a mathematical model, the performance of the system is

Desalination investigated under diﬀerent working conditions. To incorporate the humidiﬁer and dehumidiﬁer eﬀectiveness

Heat pump

into the theoretical modeling, the ε-NTU correlation of the heat and mass transfer device is utilized. Performance

Direct contact dehumidiﬁer

parameters such as speciﬁc electrical energy consumption (SEEC), recovery ratio (RR) and coeﬃcient of per-

formance (COP) are employed for evaluating the system performance. The fully coupled condition of the HDH

system with no extra cooling or heating scenarios is investigated. It is shown that a given saline water and

freshwater temperatures, a fully coupled HDH system with the heat pump without adding the extra cooler can be

achieved by alternating mass ﬂow rate ratio of either seawater to freshwater or seawater to dry air.

1. Introduction sources of the process from fossil fuels with renewable ones, especially

solar energy [14–16]. In other studies, an alternative low-grade heat

Fresh water is one of the vital needs for societies all around the source such as industrial waste heat or geothermal [3,17–19] were

world. Desalination is the process of producing fresh water from saline considered for supplying the thermal energy demand of the cycle. To

or impure water. Various types of desalination methods have been make the dehumidiﬁcation process in non-direct HDH cycle cost-ef-

proposed and developed by researchers and can be categorized into fective, an eﬃcient low-cost method can be proposed to condense water

membrane-based or thermal based methods. vapor out of the air stream. With a large fraction of the air/vapor

The most widely commercialized desalination processes based on mixture being non-condensable, direct contact condensation is con-

evaporation technique are multi-stage ﬂash distillation, multiple eﬀect siderably more eﬀective than ﬁlm condensation.

distillation and vapor compression. The second category of desalination There have been several studies done in this regard. Bharathan et al.

processes uses membrane technologies including reverse osmosis, [20] initially introduced a direct contact condenser approach to en-

electrodialysis and membrane distillation [1]. Humidiﬁcation-dehumi- hance the heat transfer rate in presence of non-condensable gas.

diﬁcation (HDH) desalination has recently attracted researcher's at- Klausner et al. [21] fabricated a laboratory scale direct contact con-

tention [2–5]. denser to study the variation of temperature, humidity and condensa-

The main advantage of the HDH cycle is its small scale application tion rate through the condenser system. They evaluated their result by

which makes is a competitive alternative among other desalination considering a ﬁnite volume method for analyzing the direct contact

technology for remote area water supply. The cycle can be operated packing condenser. Yi Li et al. [22] studied the performance char-

reliably when it is assisted with a heat pump. Moreover, the compo- acteristics of HDH desalination with a DC dehumidiﬁer desalination

nents of the HDH system are usually aﬀordably available on the market process utilizing heat and mass transfer analysis. They also studied the

and the maintenance of the system in not complicated in terms of labor performance of a DC dehumidiﬁer using a laboratory scale setup [23]

and tools [6,7]. under diﬀerent conditions. Alnaimat et al. [24–26] performed transient

There have been numerous works on non-direct condensers for analysis of the HDH with DC dehumidiﬁer using a one-dimensional

dehumidiﬁcation process in the HDH cycle [8–13]. Moreover, in this numerical solution [24] as well as a transient dynamic response with

area, several studies have been performed to replace the thermal energy the same method [26]. They further examined the operation of their

⁎

Corresponding author.

E-mail address: Saeed.dehghani@rmit.edu.au (S. Dehghani).

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.desal.2018.07.033

Received 1 April 2018; Received in revised form 31 July 2018; Accepted 31 July 2018

0011-9164/ © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

S. Dehghani et al. Desalination 445 (2018) 95–104

Nomenclature Subscripts

Symbol a air

da dry air

T temperature (°C) dw distilled water

ṁ ﬂow rate (kg/s) b bottom

Q̇ heat rate (kW) t top

Ḣ enthalpy rate (kW) sw Seawater, saline water

mr Water to air mass ﬂow rate ratio (–) fw fresh water

h speciﬁc enthalpy (kJ/kg) max maximum

RR recovery ratio (–) m middle

cp speciﬁc heat capacity at constant pressure (kJ/kg·K) br brine

SEEC speciﬁc electrical energy consumption h humidiﬁer

COP coeﬃcient of performance d dehumidiﬁer

f average slope of the saturated air enthalpy versus tem- in input

perature (kJ/kg·K) out output

NTU number of transferred units 1, 2, 3, 4 ﬂow states

Me Merkel number com compressor

a speciﬁc area (m2/m3) con condenser

H packing height (m) eva evaporator

CR heat capacity rate ratio ref refrigerant

PR pressure ratio (–)

Ẇ work (kW) Acronyms

CWOA cold-water open-air

ω absolute humidity of dry air or humidity ratio (kgw/kga) HDH humidiﬁcation-dehumidiﬁcation

φ relative humidity (–) HME heat and mass exchanger

ε eﬀectiveness (–) DC direct contact

Δ diﬀerence or change

η eﬃciency (–)

solar driven HDH setup under various design and operating conditions seawater. They reported maximum productivity of 12.38 kg/kW h.

[25]. Shaﬁi et al. [38] experimentally studied the performance of an open air-

Eslamimanesh and Hatamipour [27,28] conducted a theoretical heated HDH system with a heat pump to heat air in the condenser and

analysis for the open-air open-water HDH cycle to study the eﬀect of cool it down after humidiﬁcation at the evaporator. They obtained

working parameters on water production rate as well as performed an highest yield and GOR of 2.79 kg/h and 2.08, respectively.

economic study of the system. Niroomand et al. [29] investigated A lack of knowledge for the HDH with direct contact and heat pump

freshwater production, eﬃciency and eﬀects of various parameters in- to provide the energy requirements can be clearly observed from the

cluding air ﬂow rate, conditions of inlet cold and hot water and velocity literature. Therefore, in this study a comprehensive theoretical analysis

and diameter of droplets on the performance of the open-air HDH cycle of a heat pump driven HDH cycle with a DC dehumidiﬁer was per-

with DC dehumidiﬁer system. Mehrgoo and Amidpour investigated the formed in order to investigate the eﬀect of operational parameters on

optimum water production rate utilizing constructal design theory for a the speciﬁc energy consumption and water production of the system.

ﬁxed-size HDH system [30]. Ettouney [31] introduced diﬀerent types of

dehumidiﬁer including vapor compression, desiccant air drying and

2. System description

membrane air drying.

He et al. [32] studied a direct-contact HDH desalination system

Fig. 1 shows the overview of the heat pump assisted HDH with DC

through a thermodynamic based mathematical model. They applied

dehumidiﬁer. It utilizes two heat and mass exchanger devices for pro-

plate heat exchangers to recover waste heat for thermal energy con-

ducing distilled water. These are the humidiﬁer and dehumidiﬁer.

sumption/requirements of the system. In another study, He et al. [33]

There is simultaneous heat and mass transfer in heat and mass exchange

used a mechanical compression heat pump to study the performance of

(HME) devices due to temperature and concentration gradients be-

the water-heated HDH with a non-direct dehumidiﬁer. They reported

tween water and air. These HME devices consist of packing ﬁll that

maximum GOR of 5 and water production of 85 kg/h. Lawal [34,35]

provides high surface area for eﬀective heat and mass transfer. To si-

compared the performance of the heat pump assisted air-heated and

multaneously provide the heating demand in the humidiﬁer and

water-heated HDH with non-direct dehumidiﬁer desalination. By ap-

cooling demand in the dehumidiﬁer a heat pump is considered. It is

plying a mathematical model they investigated the inﬂuence of oper-

used in order to cool down the fresh water after dehumidiﬁcation

ating parameters on the performance of the system. They reported

process by transferring its gained heat to the working ﬂuid of the heat

maximum recovery ratio and GOR of 4% and 10 for the system, re-

pump. Also, the heat pump supplies the heating demand of the saline

spectively. Queiroz et al. [36] coupled a vapor compression heat pump

directly to an adiabatic humidiﬁer for puriﬁed water production by water at the same time in the high-temperature side by consuming

electrical power in the compressor.

recirculation air. Xu et al. [37] experimentally studied a heat pump

assisted water-heated HDH with non-direct dehumidiﬁer system. They In the humidiﬁer saline water is sprayed over packing ﬁll after it is

heated in the high temperature side of the heat pump. This is done to

added an evaporator after the dehumidiﬁer for extra cooling of the air

and a solar collector after the condenser for additional heating of feed increase the vapor content of the air. Then, the hot moist air is trans-

ferred to the dehumidiﬁer in which cold fresh water is sprayed over it.

96

S. Dehghani et al. Desalination 445 (2018) 95–104

• Humidiﬁer:

ṁ sw + ṁ da ωa, b = ṁ br + ṁ da ωa, t (1)

The heating load that needs to be added to the saline water stream

can be found out as follows:

̇ = ṁ sw cp, sw (Tsw, t − Tbr )

Qin (3)

• Dehumidiﬁer:

ṁ da ωa, t = ṁ dw + ṁ da ωa, b (4)

It should be noted that the dry mass ﬂow of air is constant through

the humidiﬁer and dehumidiﬁer. Also, enthalpy of the humid air is

considered a binary mixture of dry air and water vapor, in other words:

ha = hda + ωhv.

The heat that needs to be rejected for cooling down the fresh water

coming out from the dehumidiﬁer can be calculated as follow:

̇ = ṁ fw cp, fw (Tfw, b − Tfw, t )

Qout (6)

In order to obtain outlet stream conditions in the humidiﬁer and

dehumidiﬁer, the eﬀectiveness equation needs to be deﬁned.

Eﬀectiveness compares the actual thermal energy transferred versus

ideal thermal energy transferred from each stream and is deﬁned as

actual enthalpy rate variation to the maximum possible enthalpy rate

variation, in other words ε = ΔḢ /ΔHmax

̇ [40]. Therefore, the eﬀec-

tiveness of humidiﬁer and dehumidiﬁer would be denoted as follows

[40]:

Hsw ̇ ⎞

εh = max ⎜ ideal ,

Ḣ − H ̇ , t − Ḣ ideal br ⎟

̇a, b Hsw (7)

Fig. 1. Overview of the heat pump driven HDH with the direct contact dehu- ⎝ a, t ⎠

midiﬁer.

⎛ Ḣa, t − Ḣa, b + Ḣdw ̇ , b − Hfw

Hfw ̇ ,t ⎞

εd = max ⎜ , ideal

̇ ̇ ideal ̇ ̇ ̇ ⎟

This causes condensation of the vapor in the humid air. ⎝ Ha, t − H a, b + Hdw H fw, b − Hfw, t ⎠ (8)

Dehumidiﬁcation of the humid air will happen by cooling it down to its

dew point temperature along the dehumidiﬁer column, which results in

forming droplets of distilled water on both packing surface and the

freshwater stream. The distilled water, along with fresh cooling water,

will be collected together at the bottom of the dehumidiﬁer. The dis-

tilled water will be separated and collected while the fresh water will be

cooled down through a heat exchanger in the low-temperature side of

the heat pump to be sprayed again.

There are diﬀerent conﬁgurations of HDH cycles based on which

stream is heated as well as which stream is open or closed. In closed air/

water cycles, one ﬂuid is circulated in a closed loop between humidiﬁer

and dehumidiﬁer while the other ﬂuid is in an open loop. For instance,

closed-air open-water (CAOW) water-heated cycle is demonstrated in

Fig. 1. Diﬀerent types of the HDH cycle can be considered for diﬀerent

applications such as close-air open-water air-heated cycle, close-water

open-air (CWOA) water-heated and close-water open-air cycle (CWOA)

air-heated [6,10,39].

3. Mathematical modeling

thermodynamic analysis as well as heat and mass transfer analysis is

performed. Fig. 2 shows the schematic diagram of the system with the

variables used in the mathematical modeling.

Applying mass and energy balance on system components will result Fig. 2. Schematic diagram of the heat pump driven HDH with DC dehumidiﬁer

in following governing equations: system.

97

S. Dehghani et al. Desalination 445 (2018) 95–104

In both humidiﬁer and dehumidiﬁer, the ideal outlet air enthalpy NTUd = Med fd / cpfw if mrd cp, fw < fd (16)

occurs when the outlet air is fully saturated at the water inlet tem-

perature, and the ideal outlet seawater enthalpy is when its temperature NTUd = Med mrd if mrd cp, fw > fd (17)

is equivalent to the inlet air temperature.

Analytical expressions for the eﬀectiveness of a heat and mass ex- Med = 2.049mrd(−0.779) Hd0.632 (18)

changer as a function of the parameters like heat capacities and heat

and mass transfer characteristics are generally not available unless ṁ fw cp, fw ṁ da fd ⎞

considering some approximations or by using numerical solutions. CRd = min ⎛⎜ , ⎟

Numerical solution can be achieved by applying the diﬀerential ele- ⎝ ṁ da fd ṁ fw cp, fw ⎠ (19)

ment method on the HME device and solving the diﬀerential equations For both humidiﬁer and dehumidiﬁer, packing height of 2.25 m is

numerically. considered for guaranteeing higher values of HME eﬀectiveness for a

Merkel used the diﬀerential control volume method for cooling variety of working conditions. In order to calculate the cross-sectional

towers and derived the governing equations in the form of three dif- area of the HME devices, it is assumed that water ﬂux over the packing

ferential equations [41]. Jaber and Webb [42], by considering some material has a value between 0.8 and 4.2 kg/sm2 [43,44].

approximations, solved these equations and presented the analytical

correlation for the eﬀectiveness of cooling towers. In this work, the

3.2. Heat pump

performance of a cooling tower is considered similar to a humidiﬁer.

Therefore, by implementing the same method used by Jaber and Webb

A mechanical compression water to water heat pump is applied/

[42] the eﬀectiveness correlation of the humidiﬁer can be obtained as

added to the HDH cycle in order to simultaneously cool down fresh

follows:

warm water coming from the dehumidiﬁer and heat up the saline water

1 − exp(−NTUh (1 − CR h)) feeding to the humidiﬁer. Temperature proﬁles of low-temperature side

εh =

1 − CRh exp(−NTUh (1 − CR h)) (9) (evaporator) and high-temperature side (condenser) are shown in

Fig. 3. For evaporator, a terminal temperature diﬀerence of 10 °C is

where NTUh is the number of transfer units in humidiﬁcation process.

considered and for condenser, pinch temperature diﬀerence was greater

NTUh = Meh fh / cpsw if mrh cp, sw < fh (10) than 5 °C. As the temperature of the seawater at the pinch point is not

known prior, the temperature of the refrigerant at pinch point is con-

NTUh = Meh mrh if mrh cp, sw > fh (11) sidered 5 °C higher than the temperature of sprayed seawater to guar-

antee the required pinch temperature diﬀerence.

where f is the average slope of the saturated air enthalpy versus tem-

Fig. 4 shows the T-s diagram of an ideal vapor compression cycle

perature. This considers the slope as an eﬀective speciﬁc heat for the

heat pump. Refrigerant R134-a is used in this study as the heat pump

moist air stream. Also, Me is the Merkel number which is a function of

working ﬂuid.

packing characteristics [41]:

Each component of the heat pump will now be analyzed.

KVa

Me =

ṁ w (12)

3.2.1. Compressor

Packing ﬁll manufacturers provide this correlation. In this study a The refrigerant entering the compressor as saturated vapor is com-

polypropylene packing material from Brentwood Industries with model pressed to a superheated vapor. Its pressure and temperature are in-

number: CF1200 MA and a speciﬁc area of 226 m2/m3 was used with creased during this process. The increase in temperature allows for

the following correlation provided by the manufacturer: heating up the seawater in the condenser. The isentropic eﬃciency of

the compressor is considered to be 80%.

Meh = 2.049mrh(−0.779) Hh0.632 (13)

̇ = ṁ ref (h2 − h1)/ ηcom

Wcom (20)

Moreover, heat capacity rate ratio, CRh, deﬁned by Jaber and Webb

[42] is as follows. The pressure ratio (PR) of the compressor is outlet pressure divided

by the inlet pressure (PR = P2 / P1).

ṁ sw cp, sw ṁ da fh ⎞

CRh = min ⎛⎜ , ⎟

⎝ ṁ da fh ṁ sw cp, sw ⎠ (14) 3.2.2. Condenser

The ε-NTU correlation of the DC dehumidiﬁer can be obtained by The condenser is considered in a way that can fully provide the heat

applying the same method used in a humidiﬁer as follows: load required by the HDH cycle for heating up seawater for the target

temperature.

1 − exp(−NTUh (1 − CR d))

εd = ̇ = ṁ ref (h2 − h3) = Qin

̇

1 − CRd exp(−NTUh (1 − CR d)) (15) Qcon (21)

Fig. 3. Temperature proﬁles of the refrigerant along the a) evaporator and b) condenser.

98

S. Dehghani et al. Desalination 445 (2018) 95–104

7

6.5

6

5.5

5

4.5

4

3.5 Tfw,t=10 ºC

Tfw,t=20 ºC

3 Tfw,t=30 ºC

2.5

Fig. 4. Temperature versus entropy diagram of the heat pump with R-134a 2

refrigerant. 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4 4.5

Mass flow rate ratio of seawater to air, mr h (-)

7 Fig. 7. Eﬀect of freshwater top temperature on recovery ratio at diﬀerent mass

6.5 ﬂow rate ratios of seawater to dry air of humidiﬁer at Tsw,t = 70 °C, mrsw/fw = 1

(–).

6

Recovery ratio, RR (%)

5.5

550

5

4.5 mrsw/fw=0.8 (-)

500

4 mrsw/fw=1.0 (-)

mrsw/fw=1.2 (-)

SEEC (kW.hr/m )

mrsw/fw=0.8 (-)

3

3.5

mrsw/fw=1.0 (-) 450

3 mrsw/fw=1.2 (-)

2.5 400

2

1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4 4.5

Mass flow rate ratio of seawater to air, mr h (-) 350

Fig. 5. Eﬀect of seawater to fresh water mass ﬂow rates on recovery ratio for

300

various mass ﬂow rate ratios of seawater to dry air of humidiﬁer at 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4 4.5

Tsw,t = 70 °C, Tfw,t = 20 °C. Mass flow rate ratio of seawater to air, mr h (-)

7 Fig. 8. Speciﬁc electrical energy consumption of the system versus mass ﬂow

rate ratio of seawater to dry air of humidiﬁer at diﬀerent seawater to fresh

water mass ﬂow rate ratios at Tsw,t = 70 °C, Tfw,t = 20 °C.

6

Recovery ratio, RR (%)

5 600

Tsw,t=70 °C Tsw,t=70 ºC

550

4 Tsw,t=60 °C Tsw,t=60 ºC

Tsw,t=50 ºC 500 Tsw,t=50 ºC

SEEC (kW.hr/m )

3

3

450

2 400

1 350

1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4 4.5

300

Mass flow rate ratio of seawater to air, mr h (-)

250

Fig. 6. Eﬀect of seawater top temperature on recovery ratio at diﬀerent mass 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4 4.5

ﬂow rate ratios of seawater to dry air of humidiﬁer at Tfw,t = 20 °C, mrsw/fw = 1

Mass flow rate ratio of seawater to air, mr h (-)

(–).

Fig. 9. Speciﬁc electrical energy consumption of the system versus mass ﬂow

rate ratio of seawater to dry air of the humidiﬁer at diﬀerent seawater top

3.2.3. Expansion valve

temperature at Tfw,t = 20 °C, mrsw/fw = 1 (–).

After condensation of the refrigerant by transferring heat to the

seawater stream, it goes through an isenthalpic expansion valve for

further cooling caused by pressure drop. by decreasing the mass ﬂow rate of fresh water, dry air mass ﬂow rate

or adding an extra cooler.

h3 = h4 (22)

̇ = ṁ ref (h1 − h4 )

Qeva (23)

3.2.4. Evaporator ̇

Qcooler = (ṁ fw − ṁ fw,max ) × cpfw × (Tfw, b − Tfw, t ) (24)

The evaporator is used to cool the warmed fresh water after dehu-

midiﬁcation. Based on the cycle working temperatures there might be a where ṁfw,max is the maximum ﬂow rate of fresh water that can be

need of extra cooler capability as the evaporator may not provide all the cooled down to its target temperature without using an extra cooler.

cooling demand of the fresh water stream. This can be provided either COP is deﬁned for both cooling at the low temperature side and

99

S. Dehghani et al. Desalination 445 (2018) 95–104

Tfw,t=10 ºC

550

̇

Qcon

Tfw,t=20 ºC COPheating =

Tfw,t=30 ºC ̇

Wcom (25)

SEEC (kW.hr/m )

3

500

̇

Qeva

COPcooling =

450

̇

Wcom (26)

Considering the above equations, a system of non-linear equations

400

can be solved numerically with the following assumptions:

350

• Pumping and fan powers are negligible in comparison to the total

300

1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4 4.5

Mass flow rate ratio of seawater to air, mr h (-) thermal energy input of the system [10,43].

Fig. 10. Speciﬁc electrical energy consumption of the system versus mass ﬂow

• Kinetic and potential energy terms are excluded in the energy bal-

ance.

rate ratio of seawater to dry air of the humidiﬁer at diﬀerent freshwater top

temperatures at Tsw,t = 70 °C, mrsw/fw = 1 (–). • The distilled water condensed in the dehumidiﬁer is assumed to

leave at a temperature which is the average of the humid air tem-

peratures at inlet and outlet of the dehumidiﬁer [10].

Table 1

Maximum GOR values of the HDH system at diﬀerent working conditions.

• The air circulating throughout the system is fully saturated [27,45].

Tsw,t (°C) Tfw,t (°C) mrsw/fw (–) GOR (–) 4. Metrics of the system

70 20 0.8 0.73

To evaluate the system performance at various working condition,

1 0.67

1.2 0.61 diﬀerent non-dimensional parameters are utilized. Mass ﬂow rate ratio

70 10 1 0.67 of liquid to gas in HME plays a major role in the device eﬀectiveness.

20 0.50 Thus, the mass ﬂow rate of seawater to dry air is deﬁned as follows:

30 0.34

70 20 1 0.76 ṁ sw

mrh =

60 0.67 ṁ da (27)

50 0.54

The mass ﬂow rate of seawater to fresh water can be used for ad-

justing of cooling and heating loads in order to improve the system

7 10 performance in terms of energy consumption and water production. It is

6.5 deﬁned as:

5

6 ṁ sw

Recovery ratio, RR (%)

mrsw / fw =

Cooling load (kJ/kg)

5.5 0 ṁ fw (28)

5 -5 The recovery ratio is the ratio of the amount of water produced to

4.5

the feed saline water in a certain time span as follows:

Cooling load -10

4

Cooler load ṁ dw

3.5 -15 RR = × 100 (%)

RR(-) ṁ sw (29)

3

-20 Gain output ratio (GOR) indicates heat recovery in the system and is

2.5

deﬁned as the ratio of the latent heat of evaporation of the distillate

2 -25

1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4 4.5 water produced to the total heat input to the system from the heat

Mass flow rate ratio of seawater to air, mr h (-) source.

ṁ dw hfg ṁ dw hfg hfg

Fig. 11. Cooling load of the HDH system at various mass ﬂow rate ratios of GOR = = = RR

seawater to dry air at the working condition of Tfw,t = 20 °C, Tsw,t = 70 °C, mrsw/ ̇

Qin ṁ sw cp, sw (Tsw, t − Tsw, b ) cp, sw ΔTsw (30)

fw = 1.

Speciﬁc electrical energy consumption is the ratio of the compressor

work to produced distilled water.

Table 2

Fully coupled condition of the HDH system driven by the heat pump. Wċ

SEEC = (kW h/m3)

ṁ dw (31)

Tsw,t (°C) Tsw,t (°C) mrsw/ Optimum Fully Cooling Modiﬁed

fw (–) mrh (–) coupled load (kJ/ mrsw/fw (–) For incorporating accurate and reliable thermodynamic properties

kg)

of moist air, water and seawater, ASHRAE handbook [46] as well as

70 20 0.8 1.8 ✗ 20 0.93 Engineering Equation Solver (EES) software [47] was used. EES soft-

1 2.4 ✗ 8.7 1.06 ware has a complete library of thermophysical properties for substances

1.2 3.1 ✓ −7.4 1.15 including moist air, using the formulation presented by Hyland and

70 10 1 2.1 ✗ 50 1.36 Wexler [48], as well as water, using the formulation of IAPWS (Inter-

20 2.4 ✗ 8.7 1.06

30 3.1 ✓ −34 0.79

national Association for Properties of Water and Steam) [49].

70 20 1 2.4 ✗ 8.7 1.06 The obtained system of nonlinear equations was solved utilizing

60 1.8 ✓ −7.3 0.94 Engineering Equation Solver (EES) software, which calculates moist air

50 1.5 ✓ −17 0.84 and water properties using built-in functions. These functions have

been previously deﬁned in the software and evaluate the thermo-

physical properties of various substances based on a database in the

100

S. Dehghani et al. Desalination 445 (2018) 95–104

Fig. 12. Flow chart of the solution procedure to meet zero cooling demand.

9 9

8 8

7 7

Pressure ratio, PR (-)

Pressure ratio, PR (-)

6 6

5 5

4 4

3 3

2 2

1 1

0 0

45 50 55 60 65 70 75 5 10 15 20 25 30 35

Top seawater temeprature, Tfw,t (°C) Top fresh water temeprature, Tfw,t (°C)

a) b)

Fig. 13. Eﬀect of a) top seawater temperature b) top fresh water temperatures on the compressor pressure ratio.

software. EES is a numerical solver, using an iterative procedure for 5. Results and discussion

solving the system of equations. EES automatically identiﬁes and

groups equations that are solved simultaneously. The convergence of The mathematical modeling of the heat pump assisted HDH system

the numerical solution is veriﬁed by two methods: (i) ‘Relative equation with direct contact dehumidiﬁer was performed by solving a system of

residual’ which is the diﬀerence between the left-hand and right-hand non-liner equations for given working conditions. The unknown tem-

sides of an equation divided by the magnitude of the left-hand side of peratures of the cycle as well as distilled water production rate were

the equation; and (ii) ‘change in variables changing in each iteration. found. Then by knowing the terminal temperature diﬀerence in the

The calculations are converged if the relative equation residuals are less evaporator and the pinch temperature diﬀerence in condenser, com-

than a certain value (for example 10−6) or if the variable change is less pressor work and thermal loads of the heat pump are determined.

than 10−9. Both relative equation residuals and change in variables are Fig. 5 demonstrates the eﬀect of mass ﬂow rate ratio of seawater to

adjustable for desired precision. Besides, there are two stopping criteria dry air on recovery ratio. As shown, increasing the fresh water rate

consisting of (i) ‘number of iteration’ and (ii) ‘elapsed time’ that can be while the mass ﬂow rate of seawater is constant will result in higher

set for obtaining results with higher accuracy. EES software is widely distilled water production rate. Also, this will shift the maximum value

used by the scientiﬁc community for thermodynamic system analysis of the recovery ratio to lower mass ﬂow rate ratios of seawater to dry

[50,51]. air which practically means higher air ﬂow rate at a constant seawater

ﬂow rate. Considering seawater ﬂow rate constant, increasing the fresh

101

S. Dehghani et al. Desalination 445 (2018) 95–104

600 Table 3

Tfw,t=10 ºC Comparison of the numerical model presented in this work with experimental

550 Tfw,t=20 ºC data from the literature.

Tfw,t=30 ºC

Ta,b (°C) Tfw,b (°C) Packing speciﬁcation

SEEC (kW.hr/m )

3

500

mrd (–) mrd (–)

450

1.0 1.4 1.8 1.0 1.4 1.8 a (m2/m3) Hd (m)

400

Ref [23] 28 27 25 33 30 28 267 0.3

This study 28 25 23 33 31 29 226 0.3

350 Diﬀerence (%) 0 7 8 0 3 3 – –

300

1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4 4.5

saline water temperature will result in higher temperature and hu-

Mass flow rate ratio of seawater to air, mr h (-)

midity ratio of air leaving the humidiﬁer. This allows provide higher

Fig. 14. Heating and cooling coeﬃcient of performance of the heat pump under distillation rate in the dehumidiﬁer.

system working condition of Tsw,t = 70 °C, Tfw,t = 30 °C and modiﬁed mrsw/ The eﬀect of top freshwater temperature on recovery ratio at var-

fw = 1.06. ious mass ﬂow rate ratios of seawater to air is presented in Fig. 7. Lower

top temperatures of fresh water result in higher distilled water pro-

1 duction rate. The maximum value of the recovery ratio grows from

nearly 5% to 7% while the temperature is decreased from 30 °C to 10 °C.

0.95

By decreasing the top freshwater temperature, the dehumidiﬁcation

0.9 process will be improved as the heat transfer rate between water and air

increases which causes higher mass transfer rate between the two

Effectiveness, ε

0.85

streams. Therefore, having lower top freshwater temperature results in

0.8 lower humid air dew point which means that the air leaving the de-

0.75 humidiﬁer has a lower humidity ratio.

Speciﬁc electrical energy consumption is deﬁned to measure the

0.7 ε h (-) energy consumption of the system per cubic meter of water produced.

0.65 ε d (-) In Fig. 8, speciﬁc energy consumption of the system versus mass ﬂow

rate ratio of seawater to dry air at diﬀerent mass ﬂow rate ratios of

0.6 seawater to fresh water is shown. By reducing the ratio of seawater to

1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4 4.5

mr h (-) or mr d (-) fresh water ﬂow rate the minimum value of speciﬁc energy consump-

tion of the system decreases and is shifted to higher mass ﬂow rate of

Fig. 15. Eﬀectiveness of humidiﬁer and dehumidiﬁer in relation to mass ﬂow air. This is because lower heating loads are required at lower mass ﬂow

rate ratio of water to air at the working condition of Tsw,t = 70 °C, Tfw,t = 20 °C rate ratios of either seawater to dry air or seawater to freshwater.

and modiﬁed mrsw/fw = 1.05. In Fig. 9 the variation of SEEC versus mass ﬂow rate ratio of sea-

water to air in the dehumidiﬁer for diﬀerent top temperature of sea-

70 water is depicted. As shown, increasing the top brine temperature re-

Tat sulted in higher optimum value of SEEC and this occurred at higher

60 mass ﬂow rate ratio of seawater to dry air. This is because the higher

Tfwb

temperature of top saline water requires more compressor work, even

though distillation rate is higher.

50

It can be seen that the SEEC of the system based on the working

T (°C)

40 Considering electivity cost of 0.05 $/kW h the water production cost

will be between 13 and 18.5 $/m3. Lawal et al. [35] reported the SEEC

Tbr of a water heated HDH system with a non-direct about 9 $/m3 while

30

Tab considering electricity cost of 0.05 $/kW h. The diﬀerence in SEEC is

mainly because of absence of energy recovery in the proposed HDHs

20 system. The speciﬁc energy consumption for a single eﬀect MVC system

1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4 4.5

Mass flow rate ratio of seawater to air, mr h (-) without brine recirculation is reported [52] to be 9.8 kW h/m which

results in water production cost of about 5 $/m3.

Fig. 16. Temperature of the cycle versus mass ﬂow rate ratio of seawater to dry Fig. 10 demonstrates the eﬀect of top temperature of the fresh water

air of the humidiﬁer at the working condition of Tsw,t = 70 °C, Tfw,t = 20 °C and on the SEEC of the system at various liquid to gas ﬂow rate ratios.

modiﬁed mrsw/fw = 1.05. Reduction of fresh water temperature slightly increases the minimum

value of SEEC and shifts it to lower mass ﬂow rate ratios of liquid to gas

water ﬂow rate will provide more cooling load to the dehumidiﬁer that in the humidiﬁer. With lower top freshwater temperature the rate of

eventually results in higher distillation rate. Also, this will allow the distillation is higher, however larger compressor work is also needed

system to work at a higher circulation rate of air throughout the HDH which slightly increases the SEEC of the system.

system. Table 1 shows the value of maximum GOR of the system at the

Fig. 6 illustrates the eﬀect of the seawater top temperature on the optimum mass ﬂow rate ratios of seawater to dry air (mrh). Increasing

recovery ratio of the desalination system for various values of mass ﬂow both the top seawater and freshwater temperatures increases the GOR

rate ratio of seawater to dry air of the humidiﬁer. As shown, by in- of the HDH system as there will be more water production and conse-

creasing the seawater top temperature from 50 °C to 70 °C the max- quently more heat recovery. In addition, increasing the mass ﬂow rate

imum value of recovery ratio rises from 3% to 6%. Increasing the top of the fresh water at a constant ﬂow rate of seawater will improve the

102

S. Dehghani et al. Desalination 445 (2018) 95–104

system GOR. numerical model of this work. This is done for the working conditions

Fig. 11 demonstrates the cooling load variation of the HDH system of Ta,t = 37 °C, Tfw,t = 20 °C, φa,t = φa,b = 1 and Hd = 0.3 m with the

against mass ﬂow rate ratio at the working condition of Tfw,t = 20 °C, same Merkel number. The comparison between this numerical model

Tsw,t = 70 °C and mrsw/fw = 1. In the graph, when the cooling load is and the work of Yi Li is shown in Table 3. A maximum diﬀerence of 8%

greater than zero, an extra cooler is needed to let the system work in can be seen for outlet air temperature at mrd = 1.8. It should be men-

optimum mass ﬂow rate ratio (mrh) where the RR reaches its maximum. tioned that there is a 15% diﬀerence between the speciﬁc surface area

The red line shows the cooling load that needs to be provided by an of the packing ﬁll in these studies.

extra cooler. To avoid the use of the extra cooler two diﬀerent scenarios

can be considered. First is to let the system work at a mass ﬂow rate 6. Conclusion

ratio of seawater to air that meets zero extra cooling load i.e. the range

on the graph below mrh of 2 and greater than mrh of 3.2. The second The performance study of the heat pump assisted HDH system with

scenario is to adjust the mass ﬂow rate ratio of the seawater to fresh- direct contact dehumidiﬁer is investigated utilizing the mathematical

water to meet this requirement. The second scenario is discussed in modeling. It can be concluded that when the system is working in a

Table 2. condition that yields higher water production rate, the corresponding

In this table, for given conditions of top seawater and freshwater SEEC of the system is higher as well. The optimum RR of approximately

temperatures (Tsw,t, Tfw,t) as well as mass ﬂow rate ratios (mrsw/fw), 5.8% and SEEC of 335.4 kW·h/m3 can be achieved under system

optimum mrh is found. Then, the cooling load required for the dehu- working conditions of Tsw,t = 70 °C, Tfw,t = 20 °C and mrsw/fw = 1.05.

midiﬁer at the given working condition is found and compared with the These results can be considerably improved under optimum diﬀerent

required load of the evaporator. If the dehumidiﬁer cooling load de- working conditions of the system. A fully coupled heat pump HDH cycle

mand is higher than the evaporator load supply then the heat pump is can be achieved only in some cases. For other working conditions, two

not fully coupled and an extra cooling load is needed. Otherwise, the methods can be put in place to ensure coupled behaviour and no ad-

heat pump is fully coupled and there is no need for extra cooling. ditional cooling demand. Firstly, by varying the mass ﬂow rate ratio of

Moreover, the extra cooling load can be utilized for higher dehumidiﬁer seawater to air and secondly by changing the mass ﬂow rate ratio of

performance. In this table, positive values of cooling load represent the seawater to fresh water.

extra cooling load demand of the dehumidiﬁer, while the negative

values are excess cooling load in the evaporator. Furthermore, by References

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104

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