Conference Year



Film thickness, temperature, desalination, Interferometer, falling film


’Water’ is the ’Essence of Life’. It is an irreplaceable precious resource that is core of life on earth, a vital commodity that is critical for human survival, socio-economic developments and for the preservation of a healthy ecosystem. Current trends indicate that two-thirds of the world’s population will be living in water-stressed countries by 2025(wat (2006)). In order to eradicate or to provide sufficient water requirement for mankind desalination plays a pivotal role. This paper presents studies on horizontal tube falling film evaporator for Multi effect desalination (MED) system with spray coated tubes. The most important component in any MED system is the falling film evaporator. The wide acceptance for this kind of evaporators is because of the fact that it is characterized by a very low-pressure drop. In MED systems, falling film evaporation takes place outside the tube geometry utilizing the latent heat of condensing vapour inside the tube. Convective evaporation, as well as low-temperature nucleate boiling, occur in the film as it flows over the tube depending on the operating conditions(Abraham and Mani (2015)). The liquid falls on the top of the tube and flows down along the curved tube surface. There is a phase change on both sides of the tube and the evaporation outside the tube helps vapour to be separated from the liquid as soon as it is formed. Two different tubes surfaces were studied, namely bare copper tube and copper tube coated with alloy of Al2O3 and TiO2. Scanning electron microscope, Energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, 3D surface profilometer were utilized to study about the surface texture, composition and to find surface roughness values attributed with each tubes. An optical shadow method (non-intrusive) incorporating Otsus’s algorithm was used to evaluate the film thickness around the circumference of the cylinder, and a Mach-Zehnder Interferometer (MZI) was employed to visualize the isotherm formation (Maliackal et al. (2021)). All studies were performed for complete wetting of the tube. The measured film thickness was compared with commonly used empirical formulas. Further, the effectiveness of using those empirical formulas for small diameter tubes was analyzed. A novel interferometric technique was used to analyze the film interface temperature, and a comparative study was performed for the two different tube geometries. A standard error of mean (SEM) analysis was performed on every data set.