Recent developments in mechanical vapour compression (MVC) systems have increased the interest in the system particularly for plants of low and medium capacity. This system is characterized by the following. 1. (i) The reuse of the compressed vapour as a heating medium, eliminating the need for both primary heat source (boiler) and heat sink (i.e. cooling water and condenser). 2. (ii) Low energy consumption. 3. (iii) Simple water pretreatment as compared with the reverse osmosis (RO) system which is the main competitor of MVC in small and medium capacities. 4. (iv) Low capital and operating costs. 5. (v) Recently developed reliable compressors. An analysis, using the first and second laws of thermodynamics is conducted for the MVC system components, e.g. compressor, evaporator, feed heat exchanger, as well as the system as a whole. The analysis pinpoints the deficiencies in the system and the methods of overcoming these deficiencies.
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