Modeling Heat Exchanger Performance with Application to Desalination Using a Vacuum Tubes Solar Collector

  • Kiran Lankalapalli
  • Ahmad Elsawy
  • Stephen Idem


One goal of this project is to develop a steady state sensible performance analysis of multi-pass cross-flow finned-tube heat exchangers. The investigation considers various flow circuiting, such as counter cross-flow, parallel cross-flow, and cross-flow where the tube-side flow is in parallel. A previously developed matrix approach is used to evaluate the heat exchanger performance in each tube pass. A consistent criterion is proposed for each case, wherein increasing the NTU beyond a certain threshold value does not significantly improve heat exchanger thermal performance. Another goal of this project to devise an inexpensive, portable means of desalinating water using vacuum tubes solar collector. An evaporation/condensation process shall be employed to achieve desalination. It will incorporate an existing rooftop vacuum tube solar collector located in Lewis Hall to promote evaporation of a brine solution, and shall likewise utilize a cooling coil to condense pure water from the evaporated brine solution.