A thermodynamic platform for evaluating the energy efficiency of combined power generation and desalination plants

Kim Choon Ng, Muhammad Burhan, Qian Chen, Doskhan Ybyraiykul, Faheem Hassan Akhtar, M. Kumja, Robert W. Field, Muhammad Wakil Shahzad*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
1 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

In seawater desalination, the energy efficiency of practical processes is expressed in kWh_electricity or low-grade-heat per m3 of water produced, omitting the embedded energy quality underlying their generation processes. To avoid thermodynamic misconceptions, it is important to recognize both quality and quantity of energy consumed. An unmerited quantitative apportionment can result in inferior deployment of desalination methods. This article clarifies misapprehensions regarding seeming parity between electricity and thermal sources that are sequentially cogenerated in power plants. These processes are represented by heat engines to yield the respective maximum (Carnot) work potentials. Equivalent work from these engines are normalized individually to give a corresponding standard primary energy (QSPE), defined via a common energy platform between the adiabatic flame temperature of fuel and the surroundings. Using the QSPE platform, the energy efficiency of 60 desalination plants of assorted types, available from literature, are compared retrospectively and with respect to Thermodynamic Limit.
Original languageEnglish
Article number25
Number of pages10
Journalnpj Clean Water
Volume4
Issue number1
Early online date8 Apr 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 8 Apr 2021

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