With ever-increasing population and rapid growth of industrialization, there is a great demand for fresh water, especially for drinking, as natural resources are becoming limited. In view of the above, different desalination technologies are evolving with a thrust for utilization of renewable energy sources like solar energy, ocean thermal energy, geothermal energy and waste heat. Vacuum desalination is one such technology in which fresh water is produced from brackish water by evaporation and subsequent condensation. This desalination technique involves different processes like pressurization of brackish water by a pump, creation and maintenance of a vacuum using jet pumps, and evaporation of brackish water at reduced pressure using waste heat from a power plant such as water from condenser. In this paper an analysis of a vacuum desalination system is presented. By applying the mass, momentum and energy balances across the various components, the governing equations are obtained for the analysis. These equations are solved using simulation. Validation of the simulated performance is made with the experimental data available in the literature. The study was carried out by varying operational parameters such as evaporator temperature, condenser temperature, evaporator flow rate, condenser flow rate and chamber pressure. Yield of fresh water obtained from the system increased as condenser temperature decreased and the evaporator temperature increased. Further, the yield increased as chamber pressure decreased. © 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.