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Thermal Desalination using MEMS and Salinity-Gradient Solar Pond Technology


University of Texas at El Paso; El Paso TX.
August 2002

Report #80 - Abstract -

MEMS (multi-effect, multi-stage) flash desalination (distillation) driven by thermal energy derived from a salinity-gradient solar pond is investigated in this study for the purpose of improving the thermodynamic efficiency and economics of this technology. Three major tasks are performed: (1) a MEMS unit is tested under various operating conditions at the El Paso solar pond site; (2) the major operation and maintenance procedures of the salinity-gradient solar pond coupled with the MEMS operation is studied; and (3) previous test data on a 24-stage, falling-film flash distillation unit (known as the Spinflash) is analyzed and compared with the performance of the MEMS unit.

The data and information obtained from this investigation is applicable to a variety of thermal desalination processes using other solar options and/or waste heat.


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