This paper investigates the effects of nanoparticle-enhanced phase change material (NPCM) on solar still operation and performance. Technical and economic aspects were considered, to show an advance on earlier works using virgin phase-change materials (PCM). Three types of nanoparticle (TiO2, CuO and GO) were impregnated individually at 0.3 weight% in paraffin to form NPCM-1, NPCM-2 and NPCM-3 respectively. Experiments were conducted with four solar stills (SS) each of 0.5 m2 area using respectively paraffin (SSPCM), paraffin-TiO2 (SSNPCM-1), paraffin-CuO (SSNPCM-2) and paraffin-GO (SSNPCM-3). There was observed an increase in thermal conductivity and a reduction in melting and solidification temperatures, with NPCM compared to PCM. The effects of NPCM on water temperature, storage temperature, hourly and annual productivity were determined. SSPCM, SSNPCM-1, SSNPCM-2 and SSNPCM-3 yielded 3.92, 4.94, 5.28 and 3.66 l/m2/day respectively, corresponding to 26 and 35% increases in productivity of SSNPCM-1 and 2 respectively over SSPCM. Economic analysis showed cost per liter (CPL) of water of $0.035, $0.028, $0.026 and $0.13 for SSPCM, SSNPCM-1, 2 and 3 respectively. Considering the advantages in productivity and CPL, SSNPCM-2 can be recommended as the best solar still compared to SSPCM, SSNPCM-1 and 3, providing clean water at less than half the cost of bottled water in India.
- phase change material
- , echno-economic analysis