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ARS Home » Plains Area » Bushland, Texas » Conservation and Production Research Laboratory » Soil and Water Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #355361

Research Project: Precipitation and Irrigation Management to Optimize Profits from Crop Production

Location: Soil and Water Management Research

Title: Performance study on evacuated tubular collector coupled solar still in West Texas climate

item ISSA, ROY - West Texas A & M University
item CHANG, BYUNGIK - University Of New Haven

Submitted to: International Journal of Green Energy
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/19/2017
Publication Date: 7/11/2017
Citation: Issa, R.J., Chang, B. 2017. Performance study on evacuated tubular collector coupled solar still in West Texas climate. International Journal of Green Energy. 14(10):793-800.

Interpretive Summary: As water availability from the Ogallala Aquifer decreases, other sources of fresh water will need to be pursued to make up from lost supply. However, there is a lot of waste water of low quality on the Texas High Plains from electricity production, livestock processing, oil and gas mining, towns and cities, etc. Therefore, processes to produce usable water from waste streams need to be developed and tested. Scientists from West Texas A&M University and the University of New Haven in the ARS led Ogallala Aquifer Program tested the ability of a solar distillation system to treat waste water. Analyses demonstrated that such a process is feasible for reclaiming water on farms.

Technical Abstract: Experimental study was performed on a single basin active solar distillation system augmented with a solar collector using evacuated solar tubes. Field tests were conducted over several days under the climatic conditions of West Texas to evaluate the effect evacuated solar tubes have on the daily distillate yield rate. To investigate the feasibility of the solar tubes, active and passive solar stills with and without exterior insulation were examined. The maximum daily production rate for the active distillation system using evacuated solar tubes and the passive distillation system was 3.6 and 1.4 kg square meter per day, respectively. The results showed the augmentation of the still with evacuated solar tubes increased its production capacity by a factor of 2.63. It also increased the maximum temperature of the water in the still basin by at least 20 °C. Economic analysis shows that it is feasible to use evacuated tubular collector coupled solar still as an alternative means for reclaiming water in farmlands with a payback period of approximately 6 years.