Optimal Control of Direct Contact Membrane Distillation Operated under Fluctuating Energy Source

Emad Ali
2022 Membranes  
An optimal control strategy was tested to regulate the flow rate of the cold stream to maximize the time-averaged water production of a laboratory-scale membrane distillation (MD) process. The MD process is operated under fluctuating inlet hot temperatures at a fixed flow rate for the hot stream. The inlet hot temperature fluctuates due to fluctuation in the supplied renewable energy source, such as solar energy. The simulation revealed the possibility of enhancing the average water production
more » ... y up to 4.2%, by alternating the flow rate of the cold stream relative to a fixed flow rate of the hot stream. The enhancement was limited because, when using a long membrane, the mass flux degrades when the ratio of the cold stream to the hot stream flow rates is either very high or low. By modifying the control strategy to adapt the membrane length in addition to the flow rate of the cold stream, highly improved performance could be obtained. In fact, up to 40% enhancement in the average water production was observed.
doi:10.3390/membranes12060628 pmid:35736335 pmcid:PMC9230371 fatcat:imdcm4trnner3oi4r6wrstzyla