Numerical and experimental performance analysis of rotary desiccant wheels

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    Abstract

    In air-conditioning field, a dehumidification has become increasingly important for human health and comfort especially in hot and humid climates. However, a conventional mechanical dehumidification with a vapor compression refrigerator has some problems. Therefore, much attention has been paid recently to a desiccant air-conditioning system as an alternative to the conventional system. In this paper, we focus on a rotary desiccant wheel which is the main component of the desiccant air-conditioning system and develop and validate the mathematical model by comparison with experimental results. The validation is conducted under various operating conditions. The mathematical model discussed in this paper includes, for example, the entrance region effect in air channel, detailed diffusion phenomenon in porous solid. In experiments, effects of the regeneration air temperature, air superficial velocity, wheel thickness and wheel rotational speed on the desiccant wheel performance are investigated. In addition, the temperature and humidity distribution at the outlet of the desiccant wheel are measured. As a result, an average relative error between the predicted and the measured humidity ratio difference distribution is 3.3% and temperature difference distribution 10.8%. Moreover, the effect of the regeneration air inlet temperature, the air superficial velocity, wheel thickness and wheel rotational speed on the desiccant wheel performance are clarified and the predicted results are totally in good agreement with the measured results.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)51-60
    Number of pages10
    JournalInternational Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer
    Volume60
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2013

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    Keywords

    • Air-conditioning
    • Dehumidification
    • Desiccant
    • Numerical calculation
    • Performance analysis

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Mechanical Engineering
    • Condensed Matter Physics
    • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes

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