Date of Award
Master of Science
Accessibility to clean water which is necessary for a healthy lifestyle is a problem that spans the globe. Many societies that lack clean water are also without the energy resources such as electricity or gas that are used for purification. This project is on the development of a solar powered water purification system with Phase Change Material (PCM) energy storage and experimental studies on the system. Water distillation was achieved and analyses were performed on the effects of weather conditions on the distillate production. Solar systems are affected by limited sunshine which occurs only during daylight hours. A second part of the research involved adding a PCM heat exchanger to the system to extend distillation beyond the daylight hours. The analyses evaluated distillate production against outdoor conditions such as temperature, wind speed, and use of the PCM heat exchanger, to determine how they affect the performance of the system. Results show that increased outdoor temperature and clear atmospheric conditions yield greater distillate production. The effects of wind speed were less conclusive. Use of the PCM heat exchanger shifted production to later in the day, but overall, resulted in lower daily production than when the heat exchanger was bypassed. The most definite indicator of distillate production was the temperature differential between the water entering the still and the outdoor temperature.
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