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Research Papers

Investigations of a Dehumidifier in a Solar-Assisted Liquid Desiccant Demonstration Plant

[+] Author and Article Information
Mustafa Jaradat, Daniel Fleig, Klaus Vajen

Institute of Thermal Engineering,
University of Kassel,
Kassel 34125, Germany

Ulrike Jordan

Institute of Thermal Engineering,
University of Kassel,
Kassel 34125, Germany
e-mail: solar@uni-kassel.de

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Solar Energy Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF SOLAR ENERGY ENGINEERING: INCLUDING WIND ENERGY AND BUILDING ENERGY CONSERVATION. Manuscript received June 28, 2017; final manuscript received May 27, 2018; published online October 1, 2018. Assoc. Editor: M. Keith Sharp.

J. Sol. Energy Eng 141(3), 031001 (Oct 01, 2018) (10 pages) Paper No: SOL-17-1252; doi: 10.1115/1.4040841 History: Received June 28, 2017; Revised May 27, 2018

A solar-assisted liquid desiccant demonstration plant was built and experimentally evaluated. Humidity of the air, density of the desiccant, and all relevant mass flow rates and temperatures were measured at each inlet and outlet position. Adiabatic dehumidification experiments were performed in different seasons of the year under various ambient air conditions. The moisture removal rate m˙v, the mass balance factor κm, and the absorber effectiveness, εabs, were evaluated. An aqueous solution of LiCl was used as liquid desiccant with an initial mass fraction of about 0.4 kgLiCl/kgsol. The mass flow rate of the air through the absorber was about 1100 kg/h. The experimental results showed a reduction in the air humidity ratio in the range of 1.3–4.3 g/kg accompanied with an increase in the air temperature in the range of 3–8.5 K, depending on the inlet and operating conditions. For the air to desiccant mass flow ratio of 82, a mass fraction spread of 5.7% points in the desiccant and a volumetric energy storage capacity of 430 MJ/m3 were achieved. By operating the desiccant pump in an intermittent mode, a mass fraction spread of about 13% points in the desiccant and an energy storage capacity of about 900 MJ/m3 were reached. In addition, the experimental results were compared with results from a numerical model. The numerical model overestimates the heat and mass transfer because it assumes ideal surface wetting and uniform distribution of the circulated fluids.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Schematic diagram of the solar-driven liquid desiccant demonstration plant

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Fig. 2

View of the liquid desiccant demonstration plant: (1) plate-type absorber, (2) diluted LiCl-H2O solution tank, (3) process air postheater, (4) hay bale connected to the dryer unit, (5) tube-bundle regenerator, and (6) solar thermal flat plate collectors

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Fig. 3

Skeleton view of the plate absorber (left) and a front view of the absorber showing a part of the desiccant distribution pipes which are located between the vertical plates (right)

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Fig. 4

Schematic diagram of the instrumentation setup of the circulated fluids

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Fig. 5

Schematic of the model simulation nodes, adapted from Ref. [26]

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Fig. 6

Example of the measured inlet and outlet values for the absorption line in the demonstration plant

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Fig. 7

Temporal course of the temperatures and humidity during a test sequence to reach nearly stationary conditions

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Fig. 8

Rate of moisture removal rate versus the experimental run for the experiments carried out on three days in winter 2015

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Fig. 9

Mass balance for the experiments implemented in the demonstration plant for the experiments performed in winter 2015

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Fig. 10

Moisture removal rate calculated by applying Eq. (1) AS and by applying Eq. (2) SS for the experiments implemented in the demonstration plant on Aug. 11, 2015

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Fig. 11

Moisture removal rate calculated by applying Eq. (1) AS and by applying Eq. (2) SS for the experiments implemented in the demonstration plant on Aug. 27, 2015

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Fig. 12

Absorber effectiveness for the experiments implemented in the demonstration plant on Aug.11, 2015

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Fig. 13

Absorber effectiveness for the experiments implemented in the demonstration plant on Aug. 27, 2015

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Fig. 14

Mass balance for the experiments implemented in the demonstration plant in summer 2015

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Fig. 15

Mass fraction spread and energy storage capacity for the experiments implemented in the demonstration plant on Aug. 11, 2015

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Fig. 16

Mass fraction spread and energy storage capacity for the experiments implemented in the demonstration plant on Aug. 27, 2015

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Fig. 17

Intermittent pump-operation of the absorber in thefield test plant, fall 2013. The operating conditions of the given example were m˙a=1100kg/h, ϑa,i=9.5 °C,ωa,i=6g/kg,m˙sol=114kg/h,andξi=0.42kg/kg.

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