Paper presented at the 9th International Conference on Heat Transfer, Fluid Mechanics and Thermodynamics, Malta, 16-18 July, 2012.
This paper deals with a simple and inexpensive solar desalination configuration. The performance of a simple solar still operating under Maltese climatic conditions is analysed both theoretically and experimentally. The internal and external heat transfer modes of the distillation unit are examined. This paper concludes that the distillation rate in a simple solar distiller increases with ambient temperature and solar radiation, even though the condensation capacity of the glass is reduced. A higher wind speed decreases the evaporation and condensation processes. The energy fractions within the solar still have also been analysed. The simulations and the experiments conclude that the glass components handle the bulk of the heat transferred in a solar still namely radiation, evaporation and condensation and thus the distillation efficiency is enhanced by improving the thermal and optical properties of the glass.