In this paper, an experimental and theoretical investigation is performed on a novel water desalination system based on a humidification–dehumidification technique using a heat pump. An ultrasonic water atomizer is used in the humidification process in order to improve the humidification system. In addition to that, a new configuration is employed in the humidification process (hybrid atomization system), which combines the traditional spraying atomization system and the ultrasonic water atomizer. The new humidification system performance is investigated and compared with the spraying water atomizer system in terms of humidification effectiveness and freshwater productivity. The results show that the ultrasonic water atomizer has enhanced and improved humidification effectiveness, and consequently, the productivity of freshwater. The maximum humidification effectiveness and productivity achieved by the ultrasonic water atomizer are 94.9% and 4.9 kg/h, respectively, meaning an increase of 25.2% and 18.8%, compared to the traditional spraying atomization system. The hybrid system increases humidification effectiveness and productivity by 3.8% and 8.2%, respectively, in comparison with the stand-alone ultrasonic water atomizer. A cost analysis was also carried out in this paper in order to perform an economic comparison of different humidification processes (spraying, ultrasonic; and hybrid atomization systems). The minimum production cost of one liter of freshwater amounts to $0.0311 with the spraying system, $0.0251 with the ultrasonic system, and $0.0250 with the hybrid atomization system. These results reveal the profitability of the new configuration.


  • Freshwater plays an important role in human life

  • Sets ofand experiments were carried out: of them only an system ultrasonic water atomizer in Two the humidification process, and theone other using a hybrid of ultrasonic water atomizer in the humidification process, and the other using a hybrid system of consisting of the direct spraying of water by means of an ultrasonic water atomizer

  • The proposed theoretical model is related to the spraying atomization method, which was already validated by our previous work [19]

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Freshwater plays an important role in human life. Saline water is available in abundance and represents 97% of the water on the planet, with the remaining 3% being freshwater, but most of it is concealed at the two poles of the Earth and in mountain ice caps. Beneficial freshwater comprises ground and surface water, these sources represent only 30.4% of the total freshwater available [1]. Water Development Report [2], global water demand is increasing at a high rate.


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