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Scalable Drop-to-Film Condensation on a Nanostructured Hierarchical Surface for Enhanced Humidity Harvesting
Nagar A., Ramesh Kumar, Srikrishnarka P., ,
Published in American Chemical Society
Volume: 4
Issue: 2
Pages: 1540 - 1550
Active cooling-based atmospheric water generators, despite their growing demand, continue to be energy intensive and offer poor collection efficiencies (energy consumption per liter of water production). Despite progress in micro-/ nanofabrication techniques and functional coatings, advanced surfaces have not been successfully scaled onto such harvesters to accelerate condensation and improve their efficiencies. Here, we present a scalable dual-nanostructured hierarchical surface that comprises sporadically distributed bundles of randomly oriented faceted microcones having facets composed of nanostructures, which are either bumps or ridges. Condensate removal on this surface occurs via drop-to-film coalescence, followed by film shedding in the form of macrodrops. Compared to a conventional plain metal surface used for condensation, the improvement in latent heat transfer coefficient using a hierarchically textured surface ranged from 19.9% at a subcooling of ∼8 °C to 1048.4% at a subcooling of ∼1 °C in laboratory scale experiments, subcooling being defined with respect to the dew point. To demonstrate utility at industrial scale and to ensure scalability of the modified surfaces, we create a prototype assembly comprising a tube-fin heat exchanger with hierarchically textured fins, cooled using a standard refrigeration cycle, producing ∼25 L of water per day. The prototype containing hierarchically textured fins provides ∼10.8% enhanced water collection at ∼10.4% improved average collection efficiency compared to the traditional water generator when tested in outdoor conditions. © 2021 American Chemical Society. All rights reserved.
About the journal
JournalData powered by TypesetACS Applied Nano Materials
PublisherData powered by TypesetAmerican Chemical Society
Open AccessNo