Experimental Investigations and Modeling of Atmospheric Water Generation Using a Desiccant Material
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AbstractHarvesting atmospheric water by solar regenerated desiccants is a promising water source that is energy-efficient, environmentally clean, and viable. However, the generated amounts of water are still insignificant. Therefore, more intensive fundamental research must be undertaken involving experiments and modeling. This paper describes several experiments, which were conducted to predict and improve the behavior of water absorption/desorption by the Calcium Chloride (CaCl2) desiccant, where the uncertainty did not exceed ±3.5%. The absorption effect in a deep container was studied experimentally and then amplified by pumping air into the solution. The latter measured water absorption/desorption by a thin solution layer under variable ambient conditions. Pumping air inside deep liquid desiccant containers increased the water absorption rate to 3.75% per hour, yet when using a thin layer of the solution, it was found to have increased to 6.5% per hour under the same conditions. The maximum amount of absorbed water and water vapor partial pressure relation was investigated, and the mean absolute error between the proposed formula and measured water content was 6.9%. An empirical formula, a one-dimensional mathematical model, was then developed by coupling three differential equations and compared to experimental data. The mean absolute error of the model was found to be 3.13% and 7.32% for absorption and desorption, respectively. Governing mathematical conservation equations were subsequently formulated. The mathematical and empirical models were combined and solved numerically. Findings obtained from the simulation were compared to experimental data. Additionally, several scenarios were modeled and tested for Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, under various conditions.