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Journal of Solar Energy
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 892348, 13 pages
Research Article

Thermoeconomic Analysis and Multiobjective Optimization of a Solar Desalination Plant

Faculty of Mechanical & Energy Engineering, Shahid Beheshti University, A.C., 1983963113 Tehran, Iran

Received 26 May 2014; Revised 17 August 2014; Accepted 18 August 2014; Published 16 September 2014

Academic Editor: Santanu Bandyopadhyay

Copyright © 2014 Hamid Mokhtari et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A solar desalination plant consisting of solar parabolic collectors, steam generators, and MED unit was simulated technoeconomically and optimized using multiobjective genetic algorithm. A simulation code was developed using MATLAB language programming. Indirect steam generation using different thermal oils including THERMINOL VP1, THERMINOL66, and THERMINOL59 was also investigated. Objective function consisted of 17 essential parameters such as diameter of heat collector element, collector width, steam generator pinch, approach temperatures, and MED number of effects. Simulation results showed that THERMINOL VP1 had superior properties and produced more desalinated water than other heat transfer fluids. Performance of the plant was analyzed on four characteristic days of the year to show that multiobjective optimization technique can be used to obtain an optimized solution, in which the product flow rate increased, while total investment and O&M costs decreased compared to the base case.