Thermal analysis of ME-TVC+MEE desalination systems

F. N. Alasfour, M. A. Darwish, A. O. Bin Amer

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97 Citations (Scopus)


Thermal analysis of three different configurations of a multi-effect thermal vapor compression desalting system is presented: conventional ME-TVC,ME-TVC with regenerative feed heaters (ME-TVC,FH) and ME-TVC coupled with a conventional MEE system (ME-TVC+MEE). The analysis is based on the First and Second Law of Thermodynamics. A parametric study was carried out to investigate the impact of motive steam pressure, temperature difference per effect, top brine temperature, feed seawater temperature and motive steam flow rate on the system's performance for each configuration. The exergy analysis showed that irreversibilities in the steam ejector and evaporators are the main sources of exergy destruction in the three configurations. When steam is supplied directly from the boiler to all configurations, results showed that the first effect was responsible for about 50% of the total effect exergy destruction. The study also showed that the decrease in exergy destruction is more pronounced than the decrease in the gain ratio at lower values of motive steam pressure. Lowering the temperature difference across the effects, by increasing the surface area, decreases the specific heat consumption. On the other hand, exergy losses are small at low temperature differences and low top brine temperature. The analysis showed that the third configuration (ME-TVC+MEE) has two main features compared to ME-TVC and ME-TVC, FH. First it has a lower compression ratio, which makes the motive steam capable of compressing larger amounts of the entrained vapor; as a result, the amount of motive steam is reduced. Second, the configuration can be used for large-scale production.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-61
Number of pages23
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2005
Externally publishedYes



  • Desalination
  • Exergy destruction
  • Multi-effect
  • Thermal vapor compression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Filtration and Separation

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