International Journal of Energy Research, Vol.44, No.3, 1685-1697, 2020
A novel vacuum wastewater treatment plant integrated with a solar absorption system
In this investigation, a novel use of the solar absorption refrigeration systems was introduced by using it to enhance the operation of vacuum wastewater treatment plant. Wastewater treatment systems require a source of heat for evaporation, a cooling section for condensation and a mean of evacuation to facilitate evaporation. The solar absorption system can take over the first two tasks. Among the commercially available vacuum evaporators, one was selected and modified by replacing the conventional heat pump with the solar absorption system. Two validated mathematical models available in the literature, one for solar absorption subsystem and one for vacuum evaporation subsystem, were integrated together to perform the analysis. The impacts of solar absorption subsystem parameters along with vacuum evaporator subsystem parameters on the overall performance were investigated using the developed program. System performance was evaluated in terms of evaporation rate and condensate rate production. It was found that the degree of superheat had the greatest impact on the rate of evaporation. At low levels of supply temperature to the vacuum chamber, using only heat provided by the absorption system, the evaporation rate exceeded 60 kg/h. If the hot water was further heated by passing through the solar collector storage tank, the evaporation rate exceeded 200 kg/h.