Natural Resources, 2011, 2, 8-17
doi:10.4236/nr.2011.21002 Published Online March 2011 (
Copyright © 2011 SciRes. NR
Application of Solar Energy for Recovery of Water
from Atmospheric Air in Climatic Zones of Saudi
Ahmed M. Hamed1,3, Ayman A. Aly1,2, El-Shafei B. Zeidan1,3
1Department of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Taif University, Taif, KSA; 2Department of Mechanical Engineer-
ing, Faculty of Engineering, Assiut University, Assiut, Egypt; 3Department of Mechanical Power Engineering, Faculty of Engineer-
ing, Mansoura University, Mansoura, Egypt.
E-mail: amhamed@, {ayman_aly,ezeidan2002}@
Received December 8th, 2010; revised January 18th, 2011; accepted January 25th, 2011.
In the present work, an investigation on the application of solar energy to heat a sandy bed impregnated with calcium
chloride for recovery of water from atmospheric air is presented. The study also aimed at evaluating the effects of dif-
ferent parameters on the productivity of the system during regeneration. These parameters include system design char-
acteristics and the climatic conditions. An experimental unit has been designed and installed for this purpose in cli-
matic conditions of Ta if area, Saudi Arabia. The experimental unit which ha s a surface area of 0.5 m2, comprises a so-
lar/desiccant collector unit containing sandy bed impregnated with calcium chloride. The sandy layer impregnated with
desiccant is subjected to ambient atmosphere to absorb water vapor in the night. During the sunshine period, the layer
is covered with glass layer where desiccant is regenerated and water vapor is condensed on the glass surface. Ambient
temperature, bed temperature and temperature of glass surface are recorded. Also, the productivity of the system has
been evaluated. Desiccant concentration at start of regeneration is selected on the basis of the climatic data of Al-Hada
region, which is located at Taif area, Saudi Arabia. Experimental measurements show that about 1.0 liter per m2 of
pure water can be regenerated from the desiccant bed at the climatic conditions of Taif. Liquid desiccant with initial
concentration of 30% can be regenerated to a final concentration of about 44%. Desiccant concentration at start of
regeneration is selected on the basis of the climatic data of Al-Hada region. The climate of Taif city is dry compared
with that for Al-Hada region. This method for extracting water from atmospheric air is more suitable for Al-Hada re-
gion especially in the fall and winter.
Keywords: Extraction, Atmospheric Air, Absorption, Liquid Desiccant, Solar Energy, Dew Collection, Regeneration
1. Introduction
Shortage of drinking water is chronic, severe, and wide-
spread in the regions of Northern Africa, Middle East,
and Central and Southern Asia. The problem of provid-
ing arid areas with fresh water can be solved by the fol-
lowing methods [1]:
transportation of water from other locations;
desalination of saline water (ground and under-
extraction of water from atmospheric air.
Transportation of water through these regions is usu-
ally very expensive, and desalination depends on the
presence of saline water resources, which are usually rare
in arid regions. Atmospheric air is a huge and renewable
reservoir of water. This endless source of water is avail-
able everywhere on the earth surface. The amount of
water in atmospheric air is evaluated as 14000 km3,
whereas the amount of fresh water in rivers and lakes on
the earth surface is only about 1200 km3 [2]. The extrac-
tion of water from atmospheric air has several advan-
tages compared with the other methods. The extraction of
water from atmospheric air can be accomplished by dif-
ferent methods, the most common of these methods are
cooling moist air to a temperature lower than the air dew
point, and absorbing water vapor from moist air using a
solid or a liquid desiccant, with subsequent recovery of
the extracted water by heating the desiccant and con-
densing the evaporated water.
Choice of methods is an engineering decision depend-
ent on local climatic conditions and economic fac-
Application of Solar Energy for Recovery of Water from Atmospheric Air in Climatic Zones of Saudi Arabia 9
tors such as capital, operating, and energy costs. On the
other hand, patented devices vary in scale and potable
water output from small units suitable for one person's
daily needs to structures as large as multi-story office
buildings capable of supplying drinking water to an ur-
ban neighborhood.
2. Water Resources and Usage in Saudi
Saudi Arabia is about 2.15 million km2 of mostly desert
area with long coasts along the Gulf (eastern border) and
the Red Sea (western border). Along the Red Sea the
western highlands rise up to 2 000 meter above sea level
and the land slopes gently towards the east. Water re-
sources in Saudi Arabia include surface, underground,
desalinated, and treated wastewater. There are neither
lakes nor rivers in the entire country. The climate of
Saudi Arabia is an arid one mostly characterized by hot
and dry summer with cool and slightly wet winter with
limited renewable water resources. The average annual
rainfall is less than 150 mm in most of the country with
the southwestern region of Saudi Arabia (about 10 % of
the total area of the country) has the highest average an-
nual amount of rainfall (about 60 %). The groundwater is
the main source of water in Saudi Arabia satisfying more
than 90 % of its water demand. Groundwater is stored in
several aquifers over Saudi Arabia with quality varying
between sites and aquifers. The total groundwater reserve
in Saudi Arabia to a depth of three hundred meters below
ground surface is estimated to be 2 260 billion m3. The
renewable groundwater resources are mainly stored in
shallow alluvial aquifers and in basalt layers of varying
thickness and width, which are found mostly in the
southwest. These aquifers store about 84 billion cubic
meters with an average annual recharge of 1 196 million
cubic meters [3,4]. Most of the fresh water used in Saudi
Arabia (90%) goes to agricultural use.
There are more than 200 dams, mostly located in the
southwestern region, with storage capacity of about 830
million cubic meters for ground water recharge and flood
control. There are major 30 distillation plants along the
Red Sea and the Gulf and a pipeline system of more than
3 700 km to transport water to remote areas. The ap-
proximate capacity of water production is about 1 050
million cubic meters by 2000. Distilled water is the main
source of domestic demand. Considered one of the high-
est in the world, the annual national water demand in
Saudi Arabia has increased from 2 350 million cubic
meters in 1980 to more than 27 200 million cubic meters
and the country is expected to face extreme water short-
ages [5].
Application of solar energy for extraction of water
from atmospheric air in the climatic zones of Saudi Arabia
is interesting when the transportation of potable water is
expensive. In the following sections of the present study,
systems and technologies for extraction of water from air
are reviewed. Afterward, one these technologies will be
selected for investigation in the present study in the cli-
matic conditions of the city of Taif and Al-Hada region,
Saudi Arabia.
3. Literature Review of Systems and
Technologies for Extracting Water
from Air
One of the first works dealing with water extraction from
atmospheric air was published in Russia [6]. An appara-
tus consisting of a system of vertical and inclined chan-
nels in the earth to collect water from atmospheric air by
cooling moist air to a temperature lower than its dew
point has been proposed. The earth-water collector was
proposed by Kobayashi [7].
Description and analysis of the theoretical cycle for
absorption of water vapor from air with subsequent re-
generation, by heating is presented in [1]. A theoretical
limit for the maximum possible amount of water which
can be collected from air using the desiccant through the
absorption regeneration cycle at certain operating condi-
tions of ambient parameters, heat to be added to the des-
iccant during regeneration and maximum available heat-
ing temperature could be evaluated through the analysis
of this cycle. The absorption regeneration cycle, which
can be applied for the production of water from atmos-
pheric air, is shown in Figure 1. The theoretical cycle is
plotted on the vapor pressure-concentration diagram for
the operating absorbent and consists of four thermal
processes which are:
Process 1-2: isothermal absorption of water vapor
from air.
Process 2-3: constant concentration heating of the
Process 3-4: constant pressure regeneration of ab-
Process 4-1: constant concentration cooling of ab-
This cycle can be applied in desiccant systems with
different configurations and different heat sources. As
the purpose of this cycle is to produce water from air and
the input energy to the system is the heat added during
the regeneration process, then the efficiency of the cycle
can be defined as the ratio of heat added to regenerated
vapor to the total heat added.
Theoretical analysis showed that, strong and weak
solution concentration limits play a decisive role in the
value of cycle efficiency. However, a modified cycle is
described and analyzed by Sultan [9]. In this modified
cycle, the practical considerations were taken into
opyright © 2011 SciRes. NR
Application of Solar Energy for Recovery of Water from Atmospheric Air in Climatic Zones of Saudi Arabia
Copyright © 2011 SciRes. NR
Figure 1. Absorption-regeneration cycle [1].
Hall proposed a system for the production of water
from atmospheric air by absorption using ethylene glycol
as a liquid desiccant with subsequent recovery in a solar
still [10]. The effects of temperature and humidity on the
recovered water were studied and the results presented in
the form of a composition-psychometric chart, but the
paper does not provide any information about the mass of
recovered water. Sofrata constructed a non-conven-
tional system to collect water from air based on an ad-
sorption-desorption process using a solid desiccant [11].
The study also discussed the feasibility of the application
of air conditioning systems for collecting water from
moist air by cooling it to a temperature lower than the
dew point. Alayli used a typical S-shaped composite ma-
terial for absorption of moisture from atmospheric air
with subsequent regeneration using solar energy [12].
Hamed tested two methods to extract water from atmos-
pheric air using solar energy [13]. The first method was
based on cooling moist air to a temperature lower than
the air dew point using solar absorption cooling system.
The second method was based on the absorption of
moisture from atmospheric air during the night using
calcium chloride solution as a liquid desiccant, with sub-
sequent recovery of absorbed water during the day. As a
result of this study, the second method was recom-
mended as a most suitable application of solar energy for
water recovery from air. Abualhamayel, and Gandhi-
dasan proposed the system shown in Figure 2 for water
recovery from air [14]. The system consists of a flat,
blackened, tilted surface and is covered by a single glaz-
ing with an air gap of about 45 cm. The bottom of the
unit is well insulated. At night, the strong absorbent
flows down as a thin film over the glass cover in contact
with the ambient air. If the vapor pressure of the strong
desiccant is less than the vapor pressure of water in the
atmospheric air, mass transfer takes place from the at-
mosphere to the absorbent. Due to absorption of moisture
from the ambient air during the night, the absorbent be-
comes diluted. The water-rich absorbent must be heated
during the day to recover the water from the weak ab-
sorbent. Therefore, during the day, the weak desiccant
flows down as a thin film over the absorber surface. The
weak absorbent is heated by solar energy, and the water
that evaporates from the solution rises to the glass cover
by convection where it is condensed on the underside of
the glass cover and the absorbent leaving the unit be-
comes strong. The performance of the unit at night de-
pends on the potential for mass transfer, which is the
difference in water vapor pressure between the ambient
air and desiccant.
The performance of a desiccant/collector system with
a thick corrugated layer of blackened cloth to absorb wa-
ter vapor at night from atmospheric air with subse-
Application of Solar Energy for Recovery of Water from Atmospheric Air in Climatic Zones of Saudi Arabia 11
Figure 2. The system proposed by Abualhamayel, and Gandhidasan [14].
quent regeneration during the day, using solar energy,
was reported by Gad et al. [15]. Figure 3 shows a sche-
matic diagram of the experimental apparatus. It consists
mainly of three parts: a flat plate collector with a mov-
able glass cover, a corrugated bed and an air-cooled
condenser consisting of two parallel flat plates. Actual
recorded results show that the solar operated system can
provide about 1.5 l of fresh water per square meter per
The need for economical realization of solar-desiccant
systems for water production in arid areas is of great im-
portance. Moreover, the inconvenience and relatively
high cost of the desiccant bed limits the utilization of
such units in large scale. In desert regions, mixing a
sandy layer of the ground surface with desiccant is a
promising method to minimize the cost of the vapor ab-
sorption bed was proposed [16]. The sandy layer im-
pregnated with desiccant is subjected to ambient atmos-
phere to absorb water vapor in the night. During the
sunshine period, the layer is covered with a greenhouse
where desiccant is regenerated and water vapor is con-
densed on the transparent surface of the greenhouse or
any other cold surface. Prediction of the absorption cycle
performance requires knowledge of the percentage ap-
proach to saturation. In view of the design parameters of
the absorption bed, the desiccant to sand mass ratio is an
important factor affecting the rate of absorption and con-
sequently the rate of water production. This issue is in-
vestigated experimentally in [16]. Extracting water from
air by using sandy bed solar collector system is explored
by Kabeel [17]. The system is studied theoretically and
experimentally to evaluate the performance of the sandy
bed impregnated with 30% concentration calcium chlo-
ride to produce water from moist air. It is reported that
the system can provide up to about 1.2 l fresh water per
square meter of glass cover per day in the climatic condi-
tions of Tanta city, Egypt which is mostly humid.
The application of solar concentrator for fresh water
production from the atmospheric air is reported in [18].
The results obtained in the AQUASOLIS project are
used for assessing the use of solar trough concentration
plants for applications other than heating and cooling, in
particular for the production of fresh water for human
consumption and for agriculture for Mediterranean coun-
tries. An apparatus for extracting moisture from the am-
bient air that includes application of a desiccant pond for
absorbing moisture from air to produce a water rich des-
iccant has been presented in [19]. Atmospheric vapor is
absorbed in the absorber section and the weak desiccant
is circulated to the generator for heating and vapor con-
The capability of the glass pyramid shape with a mul-
ti-shelf solar system to extract water from humid air is
explored in [20]. Two pyramids were used with different
types of beds on the shelves. The beds are saturated with
30% concentrated calcium chloride solution. The pyra-
mid sides were opened at night to allow the bed saturated
with moist air and closed during the day to extract the
moisture from the bed by solar radiation. The bed in the
first pyramid was made of saw wood while it is made of
cloth in the second pyramid with the same dimensions.
The system was experimentally investigated at different
climatic conditions to study the effect of pyramid shape
on the absorption and regeneration processes. Prelimi-
nary results have shown that the cloths bed absorbs more
solution (9 kg) as compared to the saw wood bed (8 kg).
Adopting this approach, the system produces about 2.5
l/(day m2).
Selective water sorbents developed at the Boreskov
Institute of Catalysis (Novosibirsk, Russia) for fresh water
opyright © 2011 SciRes. NR
Application of Solar Energy for Recovery of Water from Atmospheric Air in Climatic Zones of Saudi Arabia
Figure 3. Schematic diagram of the experimental solar –desiccant collector for water recovery from air [15].
production from the atmosphere are reported by Aristov
et al. [21]. The results of their lab-scale tests have dem-
onstrated a feasibility of fresh water production with an
output of 3-5 tones of water per 10 tones of the dry sor-
bent per day. Also, selective composite adsorbent for
solar-driven fresh water production from atmospheric air
is presented in [22]. It is synthesized by a patented ul-
tra-large pore crystalline material MCM-41 as host ma-
trices and calcium chloride as a hygroscopic salt. Ad-
sorption capacity of the new composites is as high as
1.75 kg/kg dry adsorbent, which is higher than compos-
ites synthesized by silica-gel and calcium chloride, and
the adsorption rate of the new composites is also found
attractive. A solar-driven water production test unit using
the new adsorbent is also presented and tested. The ex-
perimental tests of this developed unit demonstrated a
feasibility of fresh water production with daily water
productivity more than 1.2 kg/m2 of the solar collector
area. The production of water from air on a continuous,
24-hour basis using more compact adsorption units by
applying forced convection adsorption in packed porous
bed is proposed in [23].
Water can be collected from air by direct cooling to a
temperature lower than the dew point. A typical study
was conducted analytically for the climatic conditions of
UAE coastal regions [24]. It was reported that the quan-
tity of fresh water obtained, by cooling method, depends
on the properties of humid air, air velocity, cooling coil
surface area, and the heat exchange arrangement. It is to
be noted that this system uses chlorinated fluorocarbon
compounds (CFCs) identified as contributors to the de-
pletion of the ozone layer. For typical hot humid weather
(Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, 21o 23o N and 39o E), Habeebul-
lah reported that the daily variation of water yield
showed to follow the relative humidity pattern with
minimum during midday hours [25].
In the present work, it is aimed to investigate the per-
formance of a solar powered desiccant/collector system
at the climatic conditions of Taif area, Saudi Arabia.
4. Climatic Conditions of Taif Area
The area of study is located at the western of Saudi Ara-
bia (see Figure 4). In general, Taif climate is warm de-
sert for most climatic classification and it is considered
as dry climate because rainfall is less than 10 inch. Also,
the humidity is less than 40% for most months. The tem-
perature history of Taif for 7 days is shown in Figure 5.
Also, the dew point for these seven days is demonstrated
in Figure 6.
The application of desiccant system for water recovery
from air requires night absorption of water vapor from
atmospheric air and solar regeneration at day time. In the
climatic conditions of Taif area, the most humid zone
must be selected for this application. Generally, the
weather is dry. It can be observed that, the dew point in
most of these days in October ranges from -2 to 6 C. On
the other hand, Weather conditions for Al-Hada shows
that the dew point is 22 C for this period and the relative
humidity is about 94% which means that the conditions
of Al-Hada is the most suitable for application of the
desiccant system to collect water.
5. Solar Radiation Model
An important parameter affecting the performance of the
desiccant collector system is the radiation intensity in the
location, where such system is applied. The system is
powered by the total radiation incident on a tilted surface.
In this study a simplified model for evaluating the solar
radiation on a tilted surface will be applied.
The total radiation incident on a tilted surface could be
evaluated in terms of the location, day of the year and
time of the day. The total perceived solar radiation can be
estimated by the following relationship [11]:
1 cos1 cos
tBB BnBdg
 
 
 
 
opyright © 2011 SciRes. NR
Application of Solar Energy for Recovery of Water from Atmospheric Air in Climatic Zones of Saudi Arabia 13
Figure 4. Map of KSA showing the location of Taif.
is beam radiation on a horizontal surface,
R is beam radiation tilt factor,
is beam radiation
at normal incidence, W/m2, d
is the diffuse sky radia-
tion, W/m2, C is diffuse radiation factor,
is the sur-
face tilt angle,
is solar reflectance of the Earth's
surface. The three terms in the above equation represent
the direct, diffuse, and reflected components, respec-
The terrestrial beam radiation within the atmosphere
and on the earth's surface on a typical clear day is calcu-
lated using the following relation:
exp sin
Bn B
where, A is an empirically determined constant which
represent the apparent solar radiation at air mass zero,
W/m2, B is an apparent atmospheric extinction coeffi-
cient and
is the solar altitude angle. The altitude an-
can be evaluated from the following expression:
sinsinsincos cos cosLLh
 (3)
where ,
and h are the latitude, declination and
hour angles, respectively. The declination angle
be calculated as a function of the day number, as: n
23.45sin 284
365 n
where the value ofis assumed positive in the after
noon period.
The hour angle is defined by:
1ofmin from
hnumberlocal solar noon
In Equation (1), the diffuse solar radiation is estimated
CF I (6)
Fss =
0.5 1cos
the sky and s
eam radiation
is the angle
the surface andis the ti
factor between
lt angle of the solar
collector. The b tilt factor
Ris defined by
 (7)
are the beam radiati
and on tzontal surface, respectively. The incidence
on on a tilted surface
i, anangle, zenith angle z are calculated from the
following expressions,
c ssinsinoscoscoshiLsLs
  (8) o c
cos sin
The day length, D, which is the period
sunset, can be evaluated from,
from sunrise to
Dtan tanL
 (10)
6. Experimental Study
ork is to evaluate the per-
climatic conditions of Taif
The aim of the experimental w
formance of the system in the
city, Saudi Arabia, with application of calcium chloride
(CaCl2), which is the most available and cheap absorbent,
as the working desiccant. In the experimental part of this
study, a desiccant solar collector system has been de-
signed and installed in the thermodynamics Lab., Faculty
of Engineering, Taif University. The desiccant/solar col-
lector system comprises a flat plate solar collector in
which a sandy bed impregnated with calcium chloride is
located. The solution/sand mixing ratio is selected such
that dropping of liquid from the bed at the end of absorp-
tion must be avoided. In the present study, each kg of
sand is mixed with 0.15 kg of solution. To design an op-
erating system, design data must be carefully selected
considering the ambient conditions and the thermo-
physical properties of the absorbent. Some preliminary
experiments were carried out to obtain the average value
of the most suitable desiccant concentration. As the sys-
tem absorbs water from atmospheric air at night period,
solution concentration at the end of absorption is mainly
dependent on the ambient conditions (temperature and
humidity) Therefore, average ambient temperature and
humidity at night are measured in the zone of Taif city,
then the most suitable concentration of desiccant is de-
termined. The bed thickness is selected such that when
solution reaches the saturation condition, corresponding
opyright © 2011 SciRes. NR
Application of Solar Energy for Recovery of Water from Atmospheric Air in Climatic Zones of Saudi Arabia
Copyright © 2011 SciRes. NR
Figure 5. Temperature history for Taif.
Figure 6. Dew point temperature for Taif for seven days.
to vapor pressure in the ambient
ble to carry all the mass of weak solution at the end of
sists mainly of a box having
erent points in the system are
recorded using k-type thermocouples, which are con-
atmosphere, it must be air. Temperatures at diff
the absorption process, i.e. falling of liquid drops from
the bed must be avoided.
A general view of the experimental apparatus is illus-
trated in Figure 7. It con
oss section of (0.5 m × 1.0 m) and 0.3 m height. A
glass cover which has a cross sectional area of 0.5 m2
and 3 mm thickness forms the apparatus upper side As
shown in Figure 7. One of the four sides of the box
functions as removable cover, which can be removed to
allow the absorption at night and remove the bed from
the box. The box is insulated by high density foam of
0.03 m thickness. During the experimental tests, the solar
collector is installed at an angle of about 20°to the hori-
zontal, which is nearly the latitude angle of the location.
At daytime, the bed absorbs the incident solar radiation
and consequently the bed temperature increases, as a
result the vapor pressure of the solution on the bed sur-
face increases and vapor pressure difference between the
bed surface and glass cover is created. At this moment,
evaporation of moisture from the bed is carried out with
subsequent condensation on the glass surface. The drops
of condensate are collected and led away from the system
through specially designed channel. Evaporation and
condensation continue until the vapor pressure on the bed
surface is equal to that on the glass surface. At the end of
the day the removable side of the box is opened and the
bed is allowed to cool until the vapor pressure on its sur-
face decreases to a value lower than that of the ambient
nected to a digital thermometer of 0.1˚C resolution. Bed,
glass surface and ambient temperatures are recorded
during the operation period. Rubber hose connects the
water exit point from the solar collector to a graduated
glass flask (see Figure 7).
7. Analysis of Experimental Data
Vapor pressure on the bed surface can be calculated as a
Figure 7. View of the experimental unit.
Application of Solar Energy for Recovery of Water from Atmospheric Air in Climatic Zones of Saudi Arabia15
function of solution temperature within temperature
range from 10˚C to 65˚C and concentration range from
20% to 50% according to the following Equations 1:
ln 111.96
where pb is in mm Hg, t
b in , A(x) and B(x) are re-
gression dependent parameters, which can be expressed
as a linear function of concentration according to the
following relations:
xaa x (12)
wher = 10.0624, = 4.4674,= 739.828 and
= .96.
Du regeneratioocess the beemperatures in-
creases to values of about 100˚C, therefore, an expres-
sion for deriving the vapor pressure of solution for t-
perature the fol-
Bxb bx
n pr
d t
range from 60 to 100˚C is developed in
lowing form:
ln 273
 (14)
where A and B are regression consta
and their associated concentration are given in [15].
nts. values of A, B
The average bed concentration at the end of a certain
time interval
can be calculated from the following
equations: M
ff ii
XMXconst (16)
where subscripts f i refers to the
, io
cy, η of the system can be defined as:
final and initial values of
mass M and concentratn, X.
Daily efficien
where Σqe is the total heat of evaporation of water and
ΣH is the total daily incident radiation.
8. Results and Discussion
Beam radiations at normal incidence as well as total ra-
tal radiation and plotted in Figure 9. Typical
results of hourly variation of ambien
bed temperatures are presented graphical
It can be noted that the temperature di
significant effect on the
mass transfer potential. However, this effect is limited by
diation on the collector surface are plotted with time for
the day and location of the experimental tests as show
Figure 8. The accumulated solar radiation on the col-
lector surface evaluated by integration of the hourly
values of to
t, glass surface and
ly in Figure 10.
fference between
glass surface and bed increases gradually with time. This
temperature difference has a
n s ity ,
W/s q .mn in te
Beam radiation at normal incidence
Total radiation on the tilted surface
Taif, KSA
21.48 Latitude:
Longi tude:40.55
Altitude: 1478
Figure 8. Beam radiation and total radiation at normal in-
Figure 9. Accumulated solar radiation on the collector sur-
face versus time.
Figure 10. Hourly variation of ambient, glass surface and
bed temperatures.
Copyright © 2011 SciRes. NR
Application of Solar Energy for Recovery of Water from Atmospheric Air in Climatic Zones of Saudi Arabia
the solution concentration, which increases with water
evaporation from the desiccant. A maximum bed tem-
perature of 112 C is recorded at 2 pm. The maximum
temperature difference between bed and glass surface is
also recorded at 2 pm. From the analysis of experimental
measurements, it is found that solution concentration
increases from 30% to about 44% at the end of regenera-
tion process. Also, an average daily efficiency of about
22% could be attained for the specified operating condi-
tions. From the data and visual observation it can be
stated that water condensation stops nearly at the period
from 2-3 p.m. This means that the solution concentration
increases such that the heating temperature cannot build
the required potential for mass transfer from the bed to
the glass surface during this period of operation. The
daily-evaporated mass of water is evaluated from the
difference of masses of the bed, where the mass of the
due to leakage is important, where the apparent condi-
tions of such systems show proper sealing but, in most
cases, leakage cannot be easily avoided. Therefore, per-
fect sealing of this system as with as the solar still is ex-
tremely important.
Relative humidity and humidity ratio of ambient air
for Taif city and Al-Hada region are plotted against time
at night for two different seasons in the year as shown in
Figures 11 and 12 respectively. Applying equations from
11 to 14, the equilibrium concentration of absorbing so-
lution corresponding to the recorded data for Taif city
and Al-Hada region can be evaluated. It can be found
that the climate of Taif is dry compared with that of
Al-Hada region and the equilibrium concentration for the
two regions is different. For Al-Hada region, calcium
bed is measured at the end of absorption and regeneration
respectively. Evaluation of the mass of lost water vapor
chloride can absorb water from air at night periods in
October up to a concentration of about 30%.
9. Conclusions
Desiccant/collector solar regenerator has been designed,
installed and experimentally tested at Taif area, Saudi
Arabia. Calcium chloride solution has been applied as the
working desiccant. From the experimental measurements
and data analysis, the following conclusions can be
The solar powered desiccant system which uses sandy
bed can be successfully applied to recover water from air
and an average amount of 1.0 liter of fresh water can be
recovered per square meter, when the solution concentra-
tion at equilibrium with the night conditions is about
30% .
It is found that the system is more efficient when op-
erating at Al-Hada region where the dew point is higher
compared with the city of Taif.
Figure 11. Recorded values of relative humidity for Taif
City Al-Hada region.
Figure 12. Humidity ratio for Al-Hada and taif city at dif-
ferent seasons.
The season of operation of such system determines the
operating concentration of the solution. Therefore, it is
recommended to use solution with higher concentration
for dry seasons and areas.
10. Acknowledgements
This study is supported by Taif University under a con-
tract NO. 431-649. The University is highly acknowl-
edged for the financial support.
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