Zero Brine Discharge Multiple Effect Desalination

Votes: 11
Views: 2832

Desalination of seawater is the only possible solution to the current water crisis. Increasing populations will require more and more water every year. Water levels in aquifers throughout the world are dropping because man is consuming the water faster than it is replenished by nature. Drought conditions in many areas exacerbate the problem.
Currently the desalination industry is focused on large desalination systems. The predominant desalination technologies are Reverse Osmosis, Multiple Effect Desalination, and Multistage Flash Distillation. Most designs are large and are not suitable for the relatively small energy output of a Bradford Combined Heat and Power Concentrating Photovoltaic Collector which is also my design.

A Bradford Collector produces both electricity and steam. It effectively utilizes 75% of available solar energy. I have designed the Bradford Desalination Plant to utilize the steam product of the Bradford Collector to desalinate seawater. Please visit my website, and my several posts on LinkedIn for details on the Bradford Collector and Texan Home Energy Systems.

A Texan Home Energy System will economically provide for all of the energy and water requirements of an off-grid community. Please see Drawing 1. It uses the electrical and thermal output of Bradford Collectors to provide for all of the energy requirements of a Off-Grid Community.

The Bradford Desalination Plant is a Multiple Effect Desalination Plant. It differs from the MED plants currently on the market in several ways.

The Effects operate under positive pressure rather than vacuum like conventional MED plants. Higher temperatures and pressures can be achieved. A greater number of Effects can be used with larger temperature differentials between Effects is achieved. Thus, a greater amount of distilled water can be produced with a given amount of energy.

The evaporating surfaces are continuously cleaned during operation. Also the evaporating surfaces are completely wetted so no dry spots or hot spots are permitted to form. Scale formation which is the biggest problem in the horizontal shell and tube heat exchangers is eliminated.

In the Bradford Desalination Plant, high pressure seawater at its boiling point is sprayed onto the tube side of the evaporators and the steam product of each effect flows to the shell side of subsequent effects (opposite from conventional MED plants). The configuration of the evaporators allows for complete wetting of the evaporating surface thus minimizes or eliminates scale formation. The evaporating surfaces can be cleaned during operation.

Figure #1 shows the various components of a Texan Home Energy System
Figure #2 is an Isometric view of a Bradford Collector with the plant.
Figure #3 is an isometric exploded view of the of the Evaporators.
Many other drawings, thermodynamic analyses, heat transfer and flow rate calculations are available on my website.

A natural gas boiler can be used for continuous operation at night and on cloudy days.
My designs are economical. I am sharing my technology freely in the hope that rapid proliferation of solar energy will solve all of the world’s problems. I invite collaboration and partnership with other Engineers and investors.


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  • Name:
    Bradford Snipes
  • Type of entry:
  • Profession:
  • Bradford is inspired by:
    My passion for renewable energy and my love of engineering design.
  • Software used for this entry:
    TurboCad and Excel
  • Patent status: