This paper presents an advanced desalination cycle called "MEDAD" desalination which is a hybrid of the conventional multi-effect distillation (MED) and an adsorption cycle (AD). The combined cycles allow some of MED stages to operate below ambient temperature, as low as 5. °C in contrast to the conventional MED. The MEDAD cycle results in a quantum increase of distillate production at the same top-brine condition. Being lower than the ambient temperature for the bottom stages of hybrid cycle, ambient energy can now be scavenged by the MED processes whilst the AD cycle is powered by low temperature waste heat from exhaust or renewable sources. In this paper, we present the experiments of a 3-stage MED and MEDAD plants. These plants have been tested at assorted heat source temperatures from 15. °C to 70. °C and with portable water as a feed. All system states are monitored including the distillate production and power consumption and the measured results are expressed in terms of performance ratio (PR). It is observed that the synergetic matching of MEDAD cycle led to a quantum increase in distillate production, up to 2.5 to 3 folds vis-a-vis to a conventional MED of the same rating. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.