Experimental Study of the Heat and Mass Transfer in a Packed Bed Liquid Desiccant Air Dehumidifier

[+] Author and Article Information
V. Öberg, D. Y. Goswami

Solar Energy and Energy Conversion Laboratory, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida 32611-6300

J. Sol. Energy Eng 120(4), 289-297 (Nov 01, 1998) (9 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2888133 History: Received November 01, 1997; Revised July 01, 1998; Online February 14, 2008


Desiccant cooling systems have the ability to provide efficient humidity and temperature control while reducing the electrical energy requirement for air conditioning as compared to a conventional system. Naturally, the desiccant air dehumidification process greatly influences the overall performance of the desiccant system. Therefore, the effects of variables such as air and desiccant flow rates, air temperature and humidity, desiccant temperature and concentration, and the area available for heat and mass transfer are of great interest. Due to the complexity of the dehumidification process, theoretical modeling relies heavily upon experimental studies. However, a limited number of experimental studies are reported in the literature. This paper presents results from a detailed experimental investigation of the heat and mass transfer between a liquid desiccant (triethylene glycol) and air in a packed bed absorption tower using high liquid flow rates. A high performance packing that combines good heat and mass transfer characteristics with low pressure drop is used. The rate of dehumidification, as well as the effectiveness of the dehumidification process are assessed based on the variables listed above. Good agreement is shown to exist between the experimental findings and predictions from finite difference modeling. In addition, a comparison between the findings in the present study and findings previously reported in the literature is made. The results obtained from this study make it possible to characterize the important variables which impact the system design.

Copyright © 1998 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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