Analyzing and modeling the dynamic thermal behaviors of direct contact condensers packed with PCM spheres

Kai Wang, Tao Hu, Abdel H. Hassabou, Markus Spinnler, Wolfgang Polifke

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Condensers serve as important components for humidification- dehumidification (HDH) desalination plants. Based on the interpenetration continua approach with volume averaging technique, a mathematical dynamic model for analyzing the heat and mass transfer within direct contact condensers with co-current or countercurrent flow arrangement was developed. It was validated against the experimental data from a small scale HDH desalination system. Comparisons including the productivities and the temperature profiles of gas, liquid, and solid phases show good agreement with the measurements. Phase change material (PCM) melting processes have little effect on water production rate for co-current flow arrangement, but the condenser packed with PCM capsules have higher water production rates than that packed with air capsules packed under given conditions. The relative humidity profile of the bulk gas shows contrary trend with the gas temperature profile. The direct contact condenser with countercurrent flow arrangement can provide much better heat and mass transfer between gas and water and produce about 16.3% more fresh water than the same condenser with co-current flow arrangement in 4 h under given conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-41
Number of pages19
JournalContinuum Mechanics and Thermodynamics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013



  • Condensation
  • Desalination
  • Direct contact
  • Flow arrangement
  • Modeling
  • Packed bed
  • Phase change material (PCM)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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