Low temperature desalination using solar collectors augmented by thermal energy storage

Veera Gnaneswar Gude, Nagamany Nirmalakhandan, Shuguang Deng, Anand Maganti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

136 Scopus citations


A low temperature desalination process capable of producing 100L/d freshwater was designed to utilize solar energy harvested from flat plate solar collectors. Since solar insolation is intermittent, a thermal energy storage system was incorporated to run the desalination process round the clock. The requirements for solar collector area as well as thermal energy storage volume were estimated based on the variations in solar insolation. Results from this theoretical study confirm that thermal energy storage is a useful component of the system for conserving thermal energy to meet the energy demand when direct solar energy resource is not available. Thermodynamic advantages of the low temperature desalination using thermal energy storage, as well as energy and environmental emissions payback period of the system powered by flat plate solar collectors are presented. It has been determined that a solar collector area of 18m2 with a thermal energy storage volume of 3m3 is adequate to produce 100L/d of freshwater round the clock considering fluctuations in the weather conditions. An economic analysis on the desalination system with thermal energy storage is also presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)466-474
Number of pages9
JournalApplied Energy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Energy and carbon dioxide emissions
  • Low temperature desalination
  • Renewable energy
  • Solar collectors
  • Thermal energy storage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • General Energy
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Building and Construction
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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