Thermal Solar Desalination

Thermal Solar Desalination

Methods and Systems

1st Edition - June 28, 2016

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  • Authors: Vassilis Belessiotis, Soteris Kalogirou, E. Delyannis
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780128096567
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128097823

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Thermal Solar Desalination: Methods and Systems presents numerous thermal seawater desalination technologies varying from the very simple, easy to construct and operate solar stills, to the more advance membrane and indirect distillation methods. All types of solar thermal desalination technologies are presented in detail to enable readers to comprehend the subject, from design details to enabling further research to be carried out in this area. The various units used in desalination are outlined, along with diagrams of all detailed working principles of desalination methods and systems. The authors consider the economic aspects of these processes, demonstrating successful implementation of desalination units suitable for areas where supplies of fresh water in natural ways is limited or non-existent.

Key Features

  • Includes detailed descriptions and design of all types of solar thermal desalination systems
  • Lists a comprehensive record of seawater and fresh water thermophysical properties required in the design of desalination systems
  • Contains equations to calculate and analyze the performance of the processes examined and assesses their practicality and application


Energy engineers, renewable engineers, solar thermal energy industry professionals and researchers

Table of Contents


    1.1 Introduction

    1.2 What is Desalination? – Where does it Apply? 1.2.1 The desalination processes Distillation processes Reverse Osmosis (RO) Electrodialysis – Electrodialysis Reversal (ED – EDR) Mechanical vapor compression Crystallization processes Ion-Exchange processes (IE) 1.3 Operation Steps of a Desalination Plant 1.4 Water and Energy

    1.4.1 The energy necessary for desalination 1.5 Thermal Solar Desalination

    1.6 New Trends in Desalination 1.6.1 Hybridization

    1.6.2 Forward osmosis References CHAPTER 2

    2.1 Introduction 2.1.1 What is really water? The molecular structure of water

    2.1.2 Natural waters

    2.1.3 Water resources

    2.1.4 The water problem

    2.1.5 Water demand

    2.1.6 Recycling and re-use of water 2.2 Water and Seawater Properties – Definitions

    2.2.1 General definitions 2.3. The Chemical Composition of Seawater

    2.3.1 The chemistry of seawater

    2.3.2 What is Salinity(S) – Chlorinity (Cl)

    2.3.3 Hardness - Alkalinity 2.4 Properties of seawater

    2.4.1 General The Gibbs function – Equation of State Seawater as an electrolyte solution pH Density (ρ) Activity (α) and activity coefficients (γ) – Chemical potential (μ) Thermal conductivity (λ, k) Diffusion – Diffusion coefficient, (D) Viscosity (η, ν) Ionic strength (I) Enthalpy (H) - Specific enthalpy (h) Enthalpy of evaporation (hev, or hfg) Vapor pressure p - Boiling point elevation (ΔTel, or Δtel) Heat capacity(C) - Specific heat (cp,cv) Freezing point of water and seawater The p-V-T diagram of water Electrical conductance (Ec) / electrical resistance (Rc) Dissolved gases and the carbonate system Osmosis – osmotic coefficient 2.5 Suspended Particulate Material in Seawater

    2.5.1 Suspended matter evaluation 2.6 Quality of Drinking and Utilization Water

    2.7. Corrosion and Scale Formation 2.7.1. Corrosion

    2.7.2 Scale formation and fouling Alkaline scale formation Sulfate scale, or acid scale

    2.7.3 Scale prevention Acid injection Injection of carbon dioxide Polyphosphates as scale inhibitors The seeding technique 2.8 Conclusion



    3.1 Introduction 3.1.1 Definitions 3.2 Solar stills

    3.2.1 Manufacture-Maintenance

    3.2.2 Materials of construction Basin materials The absorbing black material The Frames Glazing material Insulation material The sealing material Auxiliary components

    3.2.3 Rain catchments canals

    3.2.4 Conditions for proper installation/operation of solar stills 3.3 Operation principles of solar distillation - Solar stills

    3.3.1 The phase movement inside the still

    3.3.2 The cover inclination

    3.3.3 The optical behavior of the transparent cover

    3.3.4 Thermal behavior of solar stills Heat balance - Heat transfer – Heat transfer coefficients Efficiency, output and performance of solar stills Nocturnal operation

    3.3.6 The significance of the water depth

    3.3.7 Increasing productivity of simple solar stills Increasing vapor condensation rate Increasing solar radiation absorption Increasing feed seawater temperature Connected to flat-plate collectors and to storage


    4.1 Introduction4.1.1 A short historical introduction 4.2 Terminology

    4.3 Membrane Distillation 4.3.1 The Process

    4.3.2 Process Configurations

    4.3.3 Advantages – Disadvantages and Applications 4.4 Mass and Heat Transfer

    4.4.1 Direct Contact Membrane Distillation (DCMD) Mass Transfer Heat Transfer

    4.4.2 Air Gap Membrane Distillation (AGMD) Mass Transfer Heat Transfer

    4.4.3 Sweep Gas Membrane Distillation (SGMD)

    4.4.4 Vacuum Membrane Distillation (VMD)

    4.4.5 Performance Parameters of MD Process 4.5 Characteristics of MD Configurations

    4.6 Heat Recovery

    4.7 Solar Powered Membrane Distillation (SPMD) 4.7.1 Techno-economic performance of solar powered systems 4.8 Membrane’s Characteristic Properties

    4.8.1 Membrane Permeability

    4.8.2 Liquid entry pressure (LEP) 4.9 Membrane Modules

    4.10 Membrane Types 4.10.1 Commercial Membranes

    4.10.2 Membranes Synthesis Polymeric Membranes (polymer blends and additives) Composite Membranes (Multi-layer, Hydrophilic/Hydrophobic) Ceramic Membranes Carbon Nanotubes Electrospun Membranes References


    5.1 Introduction

    5.2 Definitions

    5.3 General operation principles 5.3.1 The setup of single effect conventional H/D system

    5.3.2 Basic operation principles

    5.3.3 Humidifying step – h-x diagram 5.4 Mathematical models

    5.4.1 Conventional single effect H/D process

    5.4.2 The dewvaporation process 5.5 Multiple-effect humidification-dehumidification (MEH)

    5.5.1 H/D system using two collector fields 5.6 Other concepts of the H/D method

    5.6.1 The desiccant absorption/desorption H/D process

    5.6.2 Membrane drying humidification

    5.6.3 H/D under varied humidification cycle

    5.6.4 H/D systems with vapour compression 5.7 Solar H/D systems with storage tanks

    5.8 The economics of the H/D method

    5.9 Coupling solar stills or H/D systems to greenhouses



    6.1 Introduction  6.1.1 The available solar energy

    6.1.2 Solar collectors Solar Ponds (SP) Flat Plate Collectors (FPC) Evacuated Tube Collectors (ETC) Concentrating Solar Collectors 6.2 Short historical review

    6.3 Definitions and Nomenclature

    6.4 Factors which influence the selection of the desalination system 6.4.1 Energy demand

    6.4.2 Water demand 6.5 Factors influencing the selection of the solar system

    6.5.1 Suitability of solar collectors for desalination6.6 Conventional desalination systems-Distillation methods

    6.6.1 Multiple Effect Distillation (MED) Τhe temperature distribution Brief mathematical analysis

    6.6.2 Multi-Stage Flash (MSF) Thermal analysis of an MSF distillation system

    6.6.3 Mass and energy balance Heat and mass balance at the water cooling section Heat transfer coefficients Temperature ranges

    6.6.4 Distillation with vapour (re)compression (MVC - TVC) Mechanical vapour compression MVC mathematical analysis Thermal vapour compression 6.7 Dual purpose plants

    6.8 Solar desalination combinations


    Appendix I

    Appendix II

    Appendix III

Product details

  • No. of pages: 382
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 2016
  • Published: June 28, 2016
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780128096567
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128097823

About the Authors

Vassilis Belessiotis

Belessiotis obtained his PhD from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and is currently the Research Director of the Solar and Other Energy Systems laboratory of NCSR “DEMOKRITOS”. His main research areas are Renewable Energy Sources and Energy Conservation, and his interests include the areas of Thermal Engineering, Physical processes and Metrology. He was project coordinator in a large number of competitive research projects funded from external sources and his scientific work is widely published. His scientific work is published in five books, six original contributions in specialized international encyclopedias (ENCYCLOPEDIA OF LIFE SUPPORT SYSTEMS and ENCYCLOPEDIA OF ENERGY) and more than 250 papers are published in international journals, international and national conferences (with review), as well as many specialized studies. He has approximately 2000 citations on this work. His is permanent member of scientific organisations: ISES, EDS, IDA, ASHRAE, ΙΗΤ, HellasLab (national member of EUROLAB).

Affiliations and Expertise

Research Director, Solar and Other Energy Systems laboratory, NCSR “DEMOKRITOS”, Athens, Greece

Soteris Kalogirou

Soteris Kalogirou
Professor Soteris Kalogirou obtained his PhD and DSc from the University of Glamorgan, UK. For more than 30 years, he has been actively involved in research of solar energy and in flat plate and concentrating collectors, solar water heating, solar steam generating systems, desalination, photovoltaics and absorption cooling in particular. He has many books and book contributions and has published large number papers in international scientific journals and refereed conference proceedings. He is Editor-in-Chief of Renewable Energy and Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Energy, as well as Editorial Board Member of another eleven journals. He is the author of the book Solar Energy Engineering: Processes and Systems and Thermal Solar Desalination, both published by Academic Press of Elsevier. He has been a member of World Renewable Energy Network (WREN), American Society of Heating Refrigeration and Air-conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), Institute of Refrigeration (IoR) and International Solar Energy Society (ISES).

Affiliations and Expertise

Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Sciences and Engineering, Cyprus University of Technology, Limassol, Cyprus

E. Delyannis

Emmy Delyannis received her PhD from the Athens University of Technology (AUth) and carried out postgraduate studies at the universities of Lawrence, Kansas, USA, and Karlsruhe, Germany. She was Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering and Metallurgy at AUth where she taught the subjects of Heating and Chemical Technology. For about 20 years she was the General Secretary of the European Working Group on "Fresh Water from the Sea” and she organized six symposiums for the European Federation of Chemical Engineers. For her contributions in desalination she was honored with the Public Service Award of the Department of the Interior of USA and with the Certificate of Merit of the International & Environmental Association, USA.

Affiliations and Expertise

Visiting Researcher, Solar and Other Energy Systems Laboratory, NCSR, “DEMOKRITOS”, Athens, Greece

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