K. Thu, B.B. Saha, K.J. Chua, K.C. Ng
International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer, Volume 101, pp. 1111-1122, (2016)
Environment-friendly adsorption (AD) cycles have gained much attention in cooling industry and its applicability has been extended to desalination recently. AD cycles are operational by low-temperature heat sources such as exhaust gas from processes or renewable energy with temperatures ranging from 55 °C to 85 °C. The cycle is capable of producing two useful effects, namely cooling power and high-grade potable water, simultaneously. This article discusses a low temperature, waste heat-powered adsorption (AD) cycle that produces cooling power at two temperature-levels for both dehumidification and sensible cooling while providing high-grade potable water. The cycle exploits faster kinetics for desorption process with one adsorber bed under regeneration mode while full utilization of the uptake capacity by adsorbent material is achieved employing two-stage adsorption via low-pressure and high-pressure evaporators. Type A++ silica gel with surface area of 863.6 m2/g and pore volume of 0.446 cm3/g is employed as adsorbent material. A comprehensive numerical model for such AD cycle is developed and the performance results are presented using assorted hot water and cooling water inlet temperatures for various cycle time arrangements. The cycle is analyzed in terms of key performance indicators i.e., the specific cooling power (SCP), the coefficient of performance (COP) for both evaporators and the overall system, the specific daily water production (SDWP) and the performance ratio (PR). Further insights into the cycle performance are scrutinized using a Dühring diagram to depict the thermodynamic states of the processes as well as the vapor uptake behavior of adsorbent. In the proposed cycle, the adsorbent materials undergo near saturation conditions due to the pressurization effect from the high pressure evaporator while faster kinetics for desorption process is exploited, subsequently providing higher system COP, notably up to 0.82 at longer cycle time while the COPs for low-pressure and high-pressure evaporators are recorded to be 0.33 and 0.51, respectively.