Off-the grid solar-powered portable desalination system

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5 Citations (Scopus)


An economically sustainable model for water purification and desalination process is presented. This system is designed as a standalone, off-the-grid water purification system. It utilizes a parabolic trough as a heat concentrator, a tube collector filled with heat transfer fluid (HTF), and a boiler to distill sea/brackish water for the desalination process. The paper outlines the process of designing and optimizing the solar-powered distillation system and the process of fabricating the parabolic trough. The current troughs are designed and fabricated to facilitate the necessary energy required to raise the HTF temperature to the design temperature of 120 °C. A non-toxic, non-hazardous HTF is selected as the working fluid for the solar trough hot loop. System performance analysis is conducted through a set of experiments while parametric analysis is performed using a computer model custom built for this system. The computer model simulates the thermodynamic and heat transfer processes where a range of optimum flow rates are determined. An increase in the boiler water temperature is observed experimentally for the new range of HTF flow rates obtained from the computer model. The maximum temperature recorded experimentally is 124 °C exceeding the design temperature of 120 °C. This system is designed to fit into a standard shipping container for ease of transportation worldwide.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)172-178
Number of pages7
JournalApplied Thermal Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jun 2015



  • Distillation
  • Energy efficiency
  • Heat transfer
  • Parabolic trough
  • Solar desalination
  • Solar thermal
  • Water
  • Water purification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

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