Solar-assisted multi-stage vacuum membrane distillation system with heat recovery unit

Young Deuk Kim, Kyaw Thu, Seung Hak Choi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Citations (Scopus)


This paper describes the development of a solar-assisted multi-stage vacuum membrane distillation (SMVMD) system. The proposed system employs heat recovery unit (HRU) for the energy recovery from the permeate vapor to the feed seawater. Temperature modulating (TM) scheme is also implemented for the attenuation of temperature fluctuations of the feed seawater. A commercial shell-and-tube capillary membrane module consisting of an array of polypropylene hydrophobic fibers has been adopted for the system design and mathematical model development. The SMVMD system is studied for the different numbers of HRUs using a mathematical model. For a solar-assisted VMD system with 24-stage, the total water production of SMVMD system with 10 HRUs is found to be 3.37m3/day, which is about 34% higher as compared to the system with a single HRU. For a VMD system without solar-thermal unit, the overall specific thermal energy consumption (OSTEC) decreases by 20% with an increase in the number of HRUs from 1 to 10. For the different numbers of HRUs in the range of 1-10, the system OSTECs with solar-thermal system having 150m2 of evacuated-tube collectors and 16m3 seawater storage tanks are 28%-36% lower compared to those without the solar thermal system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-171
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • General Materials Science
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Mechanical Engineering


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