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Single Slope Solar Still, Numerical Analysis, Paper CFD Validation, ANSYS Fluent

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This project simulated the article “Productivity estimation of a single-slope solar still: Theoretical and numerical analysis“, and validated the paper results.

This product includes Geometry & Mesh file and a comprehensive Training Movie.

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Description

Paper Description

The present problem simulates the surface evaporation process within a solar desalination system using ANSYS Fluent software. This simulation is based on the information of a reference article [Productivity estimation of a single-slope solar still: Theoretical and numerical analysis], and its results are compared and validated with the results in the article. In general, the evaporation process is known as a surface process and occurs at any temperature on the liquid surface. In this simulation, a single slope solar still is designed in which a certain amount of water with a certain height is present. The sloping surface of the solar still is made of glass and is responsible for heat transfer from the sun to the water surface. The surface of the water rises as it receives heat from the solar radiation passing through the glass, and as a result, a process of surface evaporation occurs.

Project Description

Initially, there is a certain water level inside the chamber on which the static airflow is located. As the system starts, the water surface evaporates, and water vapor mixes into the air inside the solar still. Therefore, to define three phases simultaneously, including liquid water, air, and water vapor, the multiphase mixture model must be used; Because in this three-phase current, the boundary of separation and differentiation between different phases is not clear. Mass transfer is used to define the phase change process between liquid water and water vapor; A UDF function is used to define the surface evaporation process.

Also, to define the amount of heat caused by solar radiation, it is assumed that the glass wall has a constant temperature due to solar radiation. According to the article information, this simulation has been done in two different modes, and its results have been compared with the results of the article. In the first case, the initial temperature of the water is equal to 40 ° C, and the constant temperature of the glass is equal to 30 ° C. In the second case, the initial temperature of the water is equal to 50 ° C, and the constant temperature of the glass is equal to 40 ° C.

Project Description

single slope

Single Slope Solar Still Geometry & Mesh

The present model is designed in two dimensions using Design Modeler software. The present model is related to a single slope solar still. The length of the chamber is equal to 0.98 meters, and the height of the vertical wall of the chamber is equal to 0.47 meters; So that the angle of the sloping surface of the chamber is equal to 19 degrees.

single slope

We carry out the model’s meshing using ANSYS Meshing software. The mesh type is structured. The element number is 8200. The following figure shows the mesh.

single slope

Solar Still CFD Simulation

We consider several assumptions to simulate the present model:

  • We perform a pressure-based solver.
  • The simulation is unsteady, since the surface evaporation is a transient process.
  • The gravity effect on the fluid is equal to -9.81 m.s-2 along the vertical axis.

The following table represents a summary of the defining steps of the problem and its solution:

Table

Models
Viscous Laminar
Multiphase Model Mixture
number of eulerian phases 3 (water,vapor,air)
interface modeling dispersed
formulation implicit
mass transfer UDF
Energy On
Boundary conditions
Sloping Wall Wall
wall motion stationary wall
temperature 303.15 K (case 1)

313.15 K (case 2)

Side Walls Wall
wall motion stationary wall
heat flux 0 W.m-2 (insulation)
Methods
Pressure-Velocity Coupling SIMPLE
pressure PRESTO
density first order upwind
momentum first order upwind
volume fraction first order upwind
energy first order upwind
Initialization
Initialization methods Standard
gauge pressure 101325 pascal
x-velocity & y-velocity 0 m.s-1
temperature 313 K (case 1)

323 K (case 2)

vapor volume fraction 0
air volume fraction 1 (patch)
water volume fraction 1 (patch)

Results

The validation of the present simulation is based on the results of Table 3 of the mentioned paper. The amount of surface evaporation rate in the two simulations is compared and validated with the model evaporation rate presented by the paper. This value of the evaporation rate represents the maximum value of the mass transfer rate between the two phases of liquid water and water vapor. In the first case, the glass temperature is equal to 30 ° C. The water temperature is equal to 40 ° C; While in the second case, the glass temperature is equal to 40 degrees Celsius, and the water temperature is equal to 50 degrees Celsius.

Results

Error (%) Present Simulation Proposed Model @ Paper Surface Evaporation
12.21 2.4053614e-5 2.74e-5 Case 1 : Tg = 30 ºC & Tw = 40 ºC
0.57 4.5052254e-5 4.53e-5 Case 2 : Tg = 40 ºC & Tw = 50 ºC

At the end of the solution process, two-dimensional contours related to temperature, velocity, mass transfer rate between two phases (surface evaporation rate), air volume fraction, liquid water volume fraction, and water vapor volume fraction were obtained. As can be seen from the contours, over time, the water surface in the solar still chamber evaporates. As a result, water vapor occupies part of the space above the water surface inside the chamber.

You can obtain Geometry & Mesh file and a comprehensive Training Movie that presents how to solve the problem and extract all desired results.

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