Arabian Journal for Science and Engineering

, Volume 44, Issue 2, pp 1081–1095 | Cite as

Analysis of Absorption Cooling and MD Desalination Cogeneration System

  • Ahmed Yassen
  • Mohamed A. AntarEmail author
  • Atia E. Khalifa
  • Maged El-Shaarawi
Research Article - Mechanical Engineering


An integrated system of solar absorption cooling and membrane distillation (MD) water desalination sub-systems is investigated to supply chilled water for space air-conditioning and desalination to provide freshwater for a typical family house. The system is based on single-effect LiBr–\(\hbox {H}_{\mathrm {2}}\hbox {O}\) absorption refrigeration cycle where rejected heat is used to heat feed water in the MD system. Two different arrangements of the system are discussed, configurations A and B. Configuration (A) utilizes cooling seawater for the cold side of MD unit, while configuration (B) shares the chilled water produced from the absorption system with partial cooling load requirements. Results show that maximum cooling effect is produced by configuration (A) followed by configuration (B) with 25, 50 and 75% bypass percentages that produce 26, 19.5, 9.8 and 2.5 kW cooling effect, respectively. Meanwhile, configuration (B) with 75% bypass percentage has a better performance in terms of water productivity such that it produces up to 133 \(\hbox {kg/m}^{\mathrm {2}}\)-hr of desalinated water compared to 125, 118 and 110 for the same configuration (B) at different bypass ratios of 50, 25% and configuration (A), respectively.


Integrated air-conditioning and desalination systems Solar energy Absorption cycle Water–lithium bromide Direct contact membrane distillation Chilled water control Performance analysis 

List of symbols


Area (\(\hbox {m}^{{2}}\))


Specific heat (J/kg-K)

\(D_{\mathrm {e}}\)

Diffusion coefficient (\(\hbox {m}^{\mathrm {2}}\hbox {/s}\))

\(D_{\mathrm {h}}\)

Hydraulic diameter (m)

\(d_{\mathrm {pore}}\)

Pore diameter (m)

\(\Delta H\)

Enthalpy or latent heat of vaporization of water (kJ/kg)


Enthalpy (kJ/kg)


Convection heat transfer coefficient (\(\hbox {W/m}^{\mathrm {2}}\hbox {-K}\))

\(J_{\mathrm {w}}\)

Mass flux (\(\hbox {kg/m}^{\mathrm {2}}\hbox {-s}\))


Thermal conductivity (W/m-K)


Length (m)


Mass flow rate (kg/s)


Molecular weight (g/mol)


Nusselt number

\(\Delta P\)

Pressure difference (Pa)


Pressure (Pa)

\(P_{\mathrm {high}}\)

High-side pressure (kPa)

\(P_{\mathrm {low}}\)

Low-side pressure (kPa)


Prandtl number


Heat transfer rate (W)


Universal gas constant, 8314 J/kmol.K


Reynolds number


Temperature (\(^{\circ }\hbox {C}\))


Work (kW)




Mole fraction



Coolant heat exchanger


Coefficient of performance


Direct contact membrane distillation


Feed heat exchanger


Log-mean temperature difference (\(^{\circ }\hbox {C}\))


Multi-effect distillation


Solar absorption cooling


Solution heat exchanger

Greek Symbols

\(\alpha \)

Contribution of Knudsen diffusion to mass transfer

\(\gamma \)

Salt activity coefficient

\(\delta \)

Membrane Thickness (m)

\(\varepsilon \)

Porosity (%)

\(\eta \)


\(\mu \)

Viscosity (Pa-s)

\(\tau \)

Membrane tortuosity

\(\upsilon \)

Viscous diffusion





Bulk feed


Bulk permeate






Feed side






Mean or average property




Membrane feed surface


Membrane permeate surface


Permeate side




Strong solution





w, a

Water in air

w, v, p

Water vapors inside the pores


Weak solution


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The authors acknowledge the support and fund received from the Deanship of Research, King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM) under Research Grant # IN171014.


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Copyright information

© King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ahmed Yassen
    • 1
  • Mohamed A. Antar
    • 1
    Email author
  • Atia E. Khalifa
    • 1
  • Maged El-Shaarawi
    • 1
  1. 1.Mechanical Engineering DepartmentKing Fahd University of Petroleum and MineralsDhahranSaudi Arabia

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