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CFD modeling of a gravel coarse aggregate sensible heat storage assisted single slope solar still

Solar still desalination is the well-established technology for producing potable drinking water. Many research initiatives have been made on performance improvements in solar stills. This study is intended to improve the efficiency of single slope solar still using a gravel coarse aggregate as sensible heat storage material. In order to achieve this, the inlet saline water was preheated using gravel coarse aggregate before entering into the solar still basin. The results observed from this gravel coarse aggregate assisted solar still (CASS) has been compared with conventional solar still (CSS) experimentally under the same climate conditions of Coimbatore city. Furthermore, the computational fluid dynamics model has been developed for predicting the performance of CASS. The twophase – three-dimensional model has been developed using ANSYS FLUENT v19.2 software. The analysis considered that the system was quasi-steady state and the results were experimentally validated with the maximum deviation of 14%. The results showed that, the maximum energy efficiency of CASS simulation and experimental were about 28.6% and 25.1%, respectively. Moreover, the simulated and experimental observations were followed a similar pattern. This study shows that computational fluid dynamics (CFD) can be used as the major tool for design, parametric analysis, and difficulties removal in solar still construction.