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|An Experimental Investigation of Basin Type Single Slope Solar Still having Multiple Floating Wicks in the Basin
|Mittal, Madhup Kumar
|Solar still;Single slope;Floating wick
|The demand of water has increased considerably due to growth in population and industries. In coastal regions and arid areas, abundant amount of sea water or slightly saline water is available but there is scarcity of potable water. The most economical method to overcome this scarcity of water is use of solar still, which converts brackish water into potable one without using any conventional source of energy. The main drawback associated with solar stills is their low productivity. In the present work, a single slope basin type solar still has been modified by placing multiple float wicks in the basin of the still. The float wick was made by wrapping black cotton cloth on thermocol sheet having protective layer of polyurethane foam to avoid any burn out due to high temperature. The basin area of the still was 1.15 m2 and transparent glass cover of 5 mm thickness was inclined at an angle nearly equal to latitude of Patiala. The performance of modified still has been compared with the conventional basin type still of identical specifications under same ambient conditions. The effects of covering basin area of the still with float wick in different proportions and varying basin water depths on the productivity of still have been investigated. The use of float wicks reduced thermal inertia of the basin leading to early response and higher operating temperatures which resulted in enhanced distillate outputs of the modified still as compared to the conventional still. The modified still performed better, when basin area of the still was partially covered with float wick because of availability of path for heat transfer between warm basin water and top surface of wick during night, which was hindered in the case when complete evaporating surface area was covered with float wick. The highest overall daily productivity gain of 20.56% was achieved for modified still over the reference still when 75% area of the basin was covered with float wick at basin water depth of 5 cm. The effect of varying basin water depth on the productivity of the modified still was negligible; hence, modified still can also be operated at higher water depths.
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