Thermodynamics Analysis and Optimization of a Novel Integrated System with PEM Fuel Cell, PV/Thermal Cells, and Membrane Distillation Unit for Power and Freshwater Production

Document Type : Original Article


1 Center of Excellence in Electrochemistry, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Electrical Engineering, College of Technical and Engineering, West Tehran Branch Islamic Azad University, Tehran, P.O. Box 14687-6378, Iran

3 Tarbiat Modares University, Department of Material Engineering, Tehran, P.O. Box 15875-4416, Iran

4 Department of Mechanical Engineering, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran

5 Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Malek-Ashtar University of Technology, Tehran, P.O. Box 15875-1774, Iran


In this paper, a novel integrated system for power generation and freshwater production is proposed. The system consists of Proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC), photovoltaic (PV) thermal cells and Proton exchange membrane electrolyzer (PEME) in addition to a membrane distillation (MD) system for freshwater production. The proposed system is assessed from thermodynamics viewpoints through first and second law analyses and the modeling and simulation of the subsystems are conducted in EES software to provide a comprehensive assessment concerning thermodynamic criteria. Simulation of each subsystem is validated by considering the reported data in the previous works. The proposed system is subsequently optimized via a multi-objective optimization method based on genetic algorithm. The results showed that PV cell temperature and PV area are the main influential parameters that can affect the power output and exergy efficiency. The optimization results show that at a well-balanced operating point, power and exergy efficiency would be 30 kW and 11.7%, respectively.


Volume 14, Issue 5
May 2022
Pages 486-509
  • Receive Date: 30 March 2022
  • Revise Date: 03 May 2022
  • Accept Date: 17 May 2022
  • First Publish Date: 31 May 2022