Integration of energy recovery section with thermal desalination systems improves their performance from thermodynamics, economics, and environmental viewpoints. This is because it significantly reduces input energy, heat transfer area, and capital cost requirements. Above all, the system outlet streams can achieve thermal equilibrium with the environment by supplying heat for useful preheating purposes thus reducing the environmental impacts. The plate heat exchangers are generally employed for this purpose as preheaters. The current paper presents a comprehensive investigation and optimization of these heat exchangers for thermal desalination systems applications. An experimentally validated numerical model employing Normalized Sensitivity Analysis and Genetic Algorithm based cost optimization is developed to investigate their performance at assorted operating conditions. The analysis showed that the heat transfer coefficient, pressure drop, and outlet water cost were improved by an increase in feed flow rate. However, with an increased flow rate, the comprehensive output parameter (h/ΔP) decreased due to the high degree increase in pressure drop. Moreover, an increase in the chevron angle reduced the heat transfer coefficient, pressure drop, and water cost. Finally, the optimization lowered the heat transfer area by ~79.5%, capital investment by ~62%, and the outlet cost of the cold stream by ~15.7%. The operational cost is increased due to the increased pressure drop but the overall impact is beneficial as Ctotal of equipment is reduced by ~52.7%.
|Number of pages||12|
|Journal||International Communications in Heat and Mass Transfer|
|Early online date||23 Mar 2021|
|Publication status||Published - 1 May 2021|