Results are presented for a concentrated solar photovoltaic and thermal powered membrane distillation (MD) system for seawater desalination. Solar intensity data was input into a mathematical model for the solar energy system and outlet temperature from the energy system was calculated. The MD module was tested for a fluctuating inlet temperature, as would be produced from a solar energy source. A maximum distillate flux of 3.4 l/m2h was recorded, though this did not correspond to the highest inlet temperature. An observed delay in the modules response to the fluctuations in temperature was due to the thermal mass of the MD unit. The conductivity of the distillate was measured to assess the effects of transient operation on the quality of the distillate produced. It was determined that although the quantity and quality of the distillate varied with the fluctuations in power supplied to the module, the effects were not significant enough to rule out the integration of the MD module with solar energy.
- Solar energy