Performance Optimization of Rotary Dehumidifiers

[+] Author and Article Information
W. Zheng, W. M. Worek

Department of Mechanical Engineering (m/c 251), The University of Chicago, 842 West Taylor Street, Chicago, IL 60607-7022

D. Novosel

Gas Research Institute, 8600 West Bryn Mawr Avenue, Chicago, IL 60631-3562

J. Sol. Energy Eng 117(1), 40-44 (Feb 01, 1995) (5 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2847724 History: Received March 01, 1994; Revised October 01, 1994; Online February 14, 2008


A rotary dehumidifier consists of a rotating porous matrix made of a desiccant with mechanically supporting materials. The dehumidification performance of a rotary dehumidifier wheel depends on its rotational speed, the sorption properties of the desiccant, the heat and mass transfer characteristics of the matrix, and the size of the dehumidifier. The effect of the rotational speed on the dehumidification performance of a rotary dehumidifier has been investigated by Zheng, Worek, and Novosel (1993). This paper extends that previous work and investigates the effects of desiccant sorption properties, the heat and mass transfer characteristics, and the size of the rotary dehumidifier on the dehumidification performance. The results show that the using desiccant materials in a rotary dehumidifier with different adsorption characteristics results in a wide variation in dehumidification performance. However, the maximum performance of a rotary dehumidifier occurs for a desiccant material having an isotherm shape that can be characterized to have a separation factor of 0.07. Also, as the desiccant moisture uptake increases, the dehumidifier performance also increases. However, the performance improvement for a desiccant matrix having a maximum moisture uptake of larger than 0.25 by weight is not significant. The heat and mass transfer properties and the size of a rotary dehumidifier are characterized by the number of transfer units NTU. Generally, the larger the NTU, the better dehumidification performance. However, similar to the maximum moisture uptake, when the NTU is larger than 12, the performance will not improve significantly. Also, the dehumidifier with the most favorable adsorption characteristic has a slowest rotational speed, which results in a lower power requirements to rotate the desiccant wheel and smaller carry-over losses.

Copyright © 1995 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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