Solarassisted desiccant dehumidification with air conditioning

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In certain extreme environments it is necessary to couple desiccant dehumidification with conventional air conditioning. However, the pre-conditioning of the air reduces the load on the air conditioning plant.

As in the case above the system has two air pathways, incoming and outgoing. The incoming path draws external air through a slowly revolving desiccant wheel which draws off the moisture and delivers the dried air to the air conditioner. In the other path, hot air from the building is further heated by evacuated-tube solar collectors serving a heat exchanger to regenerate the desiccant material in the revolving wheel before being ejected from the building.

This system is especially appropriate for restaurants/kitchens which can experience extremes of both temperature and humidity3 (see Fig. 3.7).

A further advantage of this system is that it can remove pollutants from the air. It also has the benefit of being able to offer a continual supply of fresh air, unlike full air conditioning.

Air conditioning units

Air conditioning units

Air inlet

Heat for

Figure 3.7 Desiccant wheel dehumidifying and cooling system courtesy of (Caddet Renewable Energy Newsletter, March 2000)

Supply air to the restaurant

Return air

Heat for regeneration

Air inlet

Figure 3.7 Desiccant wheel dehumidifying and cooling system courtesy of (Caddet Renewable Energy Newsletter, March 2000)

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