A desalination process essentially separates saline water into two parts - one that has a low concentration of salt (treated water or product water), and the other with a much higher concentration than the original feed water, usually referred to as brine concentrate or simply as "concentrate". The two major types of technologies that are used around the world for desalination can be broadly classified as either thermal or membrane. Both technologies need energy to operate and produce fresh water.
The economics of desalination are complex and very dependent on regional factors, availability of power, seawater, infrastructure and novel material technologies. These technologies are typically rated by assessing the cost per acre foot of fresh water produced. Our interest in desalination is tangential to our primary objective, which is the production of cost effective power, using steam, which can then be used in a downstream open circuit desalination process.
Remote local power generation is a prime application of the CCES technologies. Such venues are very common is marine coastal locations, especially in third world and developing countries, which coincidentally often share a similar demand for sources of fresh potable drinking water.
Today the superheated steam used to drive power generation turbines is derived through the isobaric heating of water in a thermodynamic process known as the Rankine or modified Carnot cycle. For centuries steam has been produced this way and the energetics of this process are well understood.
Controlled Cavitation Energy System (CCES) uses conventional automotive fuel injectors to accelerate water saturated with cavitation nano-bubbles into the unique geometry of a metallic impact chamber. During the collision enormous hydraulic pressures collapse the bubbles within the injection volume. Cavitation bubbles have the remarkable ability to focus intense energy and forces during their collapse. The resulting heat energy contributes to the continuous creation of superheat steam inside the impact and expansion chambers.
We are fully satisfied that our measurements demonstrate that the resulting heat and steam released on impact, are an energetically more efficient way of producing steam, compared to conventional Rankine isobaric cycle heating.
The CCES system is capable of producing continuous dry or saturated steam at a wide range of pressures and temperatures. While power generation is the primary focus of CCES the resulting source of downstream steam, following the exit from a rotary expander turbine, can be condensed into usable water. The exiting lower pressure steam can be used to provide the vapor source for either Multi-Stage Flash Distillation (MSF) or Multi-Effect Distillation (MED) units. The electric generator driven by a multi-impact chamber CCES will produce power in the megawatt range from a variety of gaseous sources including both dry and saturated steam and is capable of being staged with a high and lower pressure turbo expander. The system is relatively compact and can be packaged in a single steel shipping container along with the CCES system.
During the course of our research and development CCES Engineers observed some remarkable effects, which require a comprehensive physical-chemical explanation, but this does not render these effects un-useful. When highly filtered salt water is injected into the impact chamber apparatus at high pressures and high temperatures molecular separation of the oxygen and hydrogen was consistently observed with corresponding violent ignition.
View the following video link to observe this effect: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qTeKs_eAi6g
View the following video link to observe this effect: https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=21&v=9Qb_M-h7UAw
Heat produced either by the combustion of fossil fuels or nuclear reactors brings about the solid to gaseous phase transition in water. The amount of heat used to produce a given amount of steam is quantified in terms of boiler horsepower.
The explosions observed in our accompanying video can only be ascribed to the violent reaction of molecular hydrogen and oxygen within the impact chamber. The question arises as to the source of the molecular oxygen and hydrogen and the cause for subsequent ignition. It is understood that water will begin to disassociate at temperatures beginning at 2200 degrees C (3% disassociation) and continue to dissociate more completely at 3000 degrees C (50% disassociation). This situation is arises in nuclear reactors, especially when there is a thermal runaway condition.
The temperatures and energies possible during the collapse of cavitation bubbles are sufficient to produce this type of molecular disassociation. Cavitation occurs within the orifice of the fuel injector nozzle when the local flow pressure drops below the vapor pressure of the liquid. These cavitation bubbles are ejected from the nozzle at supersonic velocity into the impact chamber. When they collide with the impact surface they are crushed from the pressure and generate significant heat.
With the properly designed apparatus this combustion power can be harnessed in the production of electricity. Since the solutes in the water are still present following the explosion, engineering techniques must be devised to efficiently separate these salts and contaminants in such a way that the impact steam system is not impaired and can continue to operate. The design of the injectors is such that all surfaces coming in contact with dissolved solutes are especially plated with con-corrosive coatings and further enable the injectors to operate with a fluid of very low viscosity.
A system to periodically flush the condensers has been developed which should allow continuous operation followed by a periodic cleaning cycle to remove precipitated and other undesirable depositions.
In summary, CCES steam technology has the capacity to generate low cost electrical power when combined with multi-stage rotary expanders and at the same time, produce potable water as a by-product.