Energy, exergy and economic analysis of a hybrid spray-assisted low-temperature desalination/thermal vapor compression system

Q. Chen, M. Kum Ja, Y. Li, K. J. Chua*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Integrating thermal desalination systems with vapor compression is an effective way to improve the energy efficiency. This paper investigates a spray-assisted low-temperature desalination system that is integrated with a thermal vapor compression system (SLTD-TVC). A detailed thermodynamic model is judiciously developed based on the principles of heat and mass transfer, heat balance, mass balance, and exergy balance. Applying the model, the energy efficiency of the combined SLTD-TVC process is first evaluated. The production ratio of the combined system is found to be 10–35% higher than that of the conventional SLTD process. Accordingly, an exergy analysis is conducted to quantify the sources of irreversibility within the system. The steam jet ejector is found to be the major source of thermodynamic irreversibility, accounting for more than 40% of the exergy destruction. The overall system efficiency is improved at a lower motive steam pressure, a higher number of operating stages and a medium cooling water flowrate. Finally an economic analysis is carried out, which reveals that the changes of both initial plant cost and operation cost are marginal after the integration of the thermal vapor compression system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)871-885
Number of pages15
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019


  • Economic analysis
  • Exergy analysis
  • Performance ratio
  • Spray-assisted low-temperature desalination
  • Thermal vapor compression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Building and Construction
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Pollution
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • General Energy
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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