Exergy analysis of desalination by solar-powered membrane distillation units

Fawzi Banat, Nesreen Jwaied

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

80 Scopus citations


There has been an increasing interest in using exergy as a potential tool for analysis and performance evaluation of desalination processes where the optimal use of energy is considered an important issue. Unlike energy, exergy is consumed or destroyed due to irreversibilies in any real process and thus provides deeper insight into process analysis. Exergy analysis method was employed to evaluate the exergy efficiency of the "compact" and "large" solardriven MD desalination units. The exergy efficiency of the compact and large units with reference to the exergy collected by the solar collector was about 0.3% and 0.5% but was 0.01% and 0.05%, respectively, when referenced to the exergy of solar irradiance. The exergy efficiency of the flat plate solar collectors in both units varied diurnally and the maxima was 6.5% ad 3% for the compact and large units, respectively. The highest exergy destruction was found to occur within the membrane distillation module.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)27-40
Number of pages14
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - 30 Sep 2008


  • Exergy analysis
  • Membrane distillation
  • Performance
  • Solar desalination


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