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Experimental investigation on a one-rotor two-stage rotary

desiccant cooling system


T.S. Ge, Y.J. Dai

, R.Z. Wang, Y. Li
Institute of Refrigeration and Cryogenics, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, PR China
a r t i c l e i n f o
Article history:
Received 17 March 2008
Keywords:
One-rotor two stage
Rotary desiccant
Rotation speed
Wheel thickness
Moisture removal
Thermal coefcient of performance
a b s t r a c t
A one-rotor two-stage rotary desiccant cooling system (OTSDC), in which two-stage dehumidication
process is realized by one desiccant wheel, was investigated experimentally. The system was proposed
to reduce the volume of two-stage rotary desiccant cooling system (TSDC) with two desiccant wheels
without reduction in system performance by using the novel conguration. An experimental setup was
designed and built to evaluate the system performance under various operation conditions. The effects
of different wheel thicknesses at various rotation speeds under Air-conditioning and Refrigeration
Institute (ARI) summer and humid conditions were investigated. It is observed that there exits an
optimal rotation speed where moisture removal of the system D and thermal coefcient of performance
COP
th
are both optimal. Moreover, the unit with wheel thickness of 100 mm performs better for its
bigger moisture removal D and higher COP
th
. Generally speaking, the COP
th
of this unit is around 1.0
when the regeneration temperature is lower than 801C. Compared to TSDC, the OTSDC not only
preserves the merits of low regeneration temperature and high COP
th
, but also has a reduced size by
about half.
& 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
1. Introduction
The world is facing a large-scale and potentially devastating
global energy crisis. People have already realized that traditional
resource such as oil and gas cannot meet the rising energy
demand. This has led to increasing interest in alternate-energy
research such as solar energy, geothermal energy and wind
energy. Besides, traditional resource has caused serious environ-
mental problems. In response to these problems, rotary desiccant
cooling systems, which adopt water as refrigerant and can be
driven by low-grade thermal energy, have been widely recognized
as a promising technology for its energy saving and chlorouoro-
carbons (CFC)-free characteristics. Researchers have carried out
some investigation on one-stage rotary desiccant cooling system
such as system simulation [13], thermodynamic analysis based
on the second law [4] and experimental investigation [5,6].
Recently, many researchers focus on the concepts of staged
regeneration and two-stage system. Staged regeneration for solid
desiccant dehumidiers, patented by Glav [7], has been reintro-
duced [811]. Collier and Cohen [8] reported that the best system
performance could be obtained by staging the regeneration
process while minimizing the amount of inert heat capacity.
Worek et al. [9] indicated that high performance for a ventilation
cycle could be achieved by using Type 1M material regenerated at
1651C, with a staged regeneration fraction of 16%. Moreover, there
are also some investigations focusing on two-stage solid desiccant
cooling system. Meckler [12] proposed an integrated two-stage
desiccant dehumidication system with a commercial HVAC
system, which would signicantly increase thermal coefcient
of performance (COP
th
) and lower initial equipment cost. Gershon
Meckler Associates, P.C. (GMAPC) [13] has developed a two-stage
desiccant unit for small commercial building such as fast-food
restaurants. The results showed that the annual electric energy
use by the desiccant unit is 60% less than that of the vapor
compression unit; annual energy cost for the gas-energized
desiccant cold-air unit is 40% less than that of the conventional
unit. Afterwards, a two-stage solid desiccant HVAC system
including evaporative cooling was compared with conventional
all-air VAV system by Mei et al. [13]. It was demonstrated that the
energy consumption in desiccant system is reduced signicantly
in terms of peak electric demand, electric and gas energy input
and annual energy costs.
Lately, researchers in Shanghai Jiao Tong University have
developed a novel two-stage rotary desiccant cooling system
(TSDC) by using novel conguration and newly developed
composite desiccant material. The experimental results showed
the system has the merits of lower regeneration temperature and
high thermal performance [14]. Hence low-grade thermal energy
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journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/energy
Energy
0360-5442/$ - see front matter & 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
doi:10.1016/j.energy.2008.08.006

Corresponding author. Fax: +862134204358.


E-mail address: yjdai@sjtu.edu.cn (Y.J. Dai).
Energy 33 (2008) 18071815
such as solar energy can be efciently utilized and the operating
costs can be signicantly reduced. Moreover, if solar energy is
utilized, the system can convert more than 40% of solar radiation
into the ability for air conditioning. However, the complexity and
volume of TSDC increases due to another rotary wheel that is
used. This hinders early penetration into the market. Therefore,
how to reduce the volume of two-stage system without
diminishing system performance becomes a critical issue.
In this study, a one-rotor two-stage rotary desiccant cooling
system (OTSDC), in which two-stage dehumidication process is
realized by only one wheel, is proposed and investigated. The
newly developed compound desiccant wheel as used in TSDC is
also adopted in this study. It is expected that the structure as well
as volume of two-stage system can be signicantly reduced. The
objective is to validate the feasibility of OTSDC by an experimental
prototype and evaluate system performance under standard
Air-conditioning and Refrigeration Institute (ARI) summer and
humid conditions. Also the effects of the main operation
parameters, including rotation speed, wheel thickness and
regeneration temperature on system performance are analyzed
and summarized.
2. Description of one-rotor two-stage rotary desiccant cooling
system (OTSDC)
The key technology to realize OTSDC is how to build the two-
stage dehumidication process with one desiccant wheel. Fig. 1(a)
shows the conventional desiccant wheel with one-stage dehumi-
dication process. Cross-section of the wheel is divided into two
parts: one for process air and another for regeneration air. If the
cross-section was divided into four parts: two for process air and
the others for regeneration air, it is possible that two-stage
dehumidication process can be achieved in one rotary wheel as
shown in Fig. 1(b). Jia [15] reported that the optimal area ratio of
process air to regeneration air in one composite desiccant wheel is 3.
This value is also adopted in OTSDC, therefore the central angle for
process air is 1351 and for regeneration air is 451.
In order to keep the merits of TSDC, similar circulation mode as
TSDC was applied in OTSDC. Fig. 2 shows the schematic drawing
of OTSDC. Process air (state 1) enters the system and ows
through the rst section for process air within desiccant wheel,
where the process air is dehumidied and simultaneously heated
by released adsorption heat (state 2). Then the hot dry process air
is cooled in a sensible heat exchanger (state 3). Afterwards process
air ows into the same desiccant wheel once again but through
the second part for process air to state 4. Similarly, it then passes
through the second heat exchanger and is cooled to state 5. At the
same time, in the regeneration side, return air coming from the
conditioned space is mixed with outdoor air to constitute
regeneration air (state 6). Two groups of regeneration air work
in parallel (state 6-7-8-9-10; state 6-11-12-13-14). They are at rst
cooled in the evaporative coolers to state 7/11. Then both are
preheated by process air in sensible heat exchangers to states
8 and 12. Afterwards, the preheated regeneration air is heated up
in the heaters to the required regeneration temperature (states 9
and 13). Regeneration air then ows through the two regeneration
sections within desiccant wheel to their respective regenerate
desiccant material. The hot humid outlet regeneration air (states
10 and 14) is exhausted to the ambient.
Two points should be noted here: (1) since the humidity ratio
of process air at state 5 is very low, its temperature could be
further reduced by an adiabatic humidication process in an
evaporative cooler. However, in order to analyze the dehumidi-
cation capacity of OTSDC and reduce the initial cost of experi-
mental setup, no evaporative cooler is installed here; (2) study
focusing on composite silica gel-haloid desiccant wheel [15]
pointed out that reducing the mass ow rate of regeneration
airstream to one third of the process ow can lead to signicant
COP
th
improvement without substantial inuence on dehumidi-
cation capacity. Therefore at states 8 and 12 before regeneration
air entering into the heaters, parts of the regeneration air are
exhausted to the ambient to obtain high performance.
3. Experimental setup and test sensors
3.1. Experimental setup
Fig. 3 gives a photographic view of the experimental setup. An
air-preconditioning unit (Fig. 3(a)) was adopted to provide various
process air inlet conditions (state 1) under different environ-
mental conditions. The unit was equipped with a hot water coil for
ARTICLE IN PRESS
Nomenclature
COP overall coefcient of performance taking into account
of electric power
COP
th
thermal coefcient of performance
D moisture removal (g/kg)
d absolute humidity ratio of the air (g water vapor/
kg dry air)
h enthalpy (kJ/kg)
L wheel thickness (mm)
M volume rate of the stream (m
3
/s, m
3
/h)
Q quantity of heat (kW)
Dd mass change in desiccant wheel (kg/h)
Dy absolute error
Dy/y relative error (%)
r density of air (kg/m
3
)
Subscript
1, 2, y,14, 8-1, 12-1 refers to the positions described in Fig. 2
ads process air
DW desiccant wheel
HE sensible heat exchanger
in inlet
out outlet
reg/reg1/reg2 regeneration air/regeneration air of the rst/
second stage
Regeneration
side
Regeneration
side
Process
side
Process
side
Process
side
Regeneration
side 4
5
Fig. 1. Cross-section of one-stage and two-stage system.
T.S. Ge et al. / Energy 33 (2008) 18071815 1808
heating, a water spray system for humidication, a one-stage
desiccant wheel system for dehumidication and a vapor
compression air conditioner for cooling. A Programmable Logic
Controller (PLC) controller was installed to adjust air temperature
and humidity ratio at outlet. Besides, tests were executed in a
thermo-humidistat chamber, where steady temperature and
humidity environment can be created and maintained. Therefore
the inlet condition of regeneration air (state 6) under various
conditions can be provided.
3.1.1. Desiccant wheel
The honeycombed silica gel-haloid composite desiccant
wheels were used in this experiment. It can work well under
lower regeneration temperature and achieve higher dehumidi-
cation capacity due to the contribution of the new composite
desiccant material [15,16]. Desiccant wheels with same diameter
of 400mm and different thicknesses (40, 70, 100mm) were
adopted in the experiments to investigate the effect of wheel
thickness. In order to ease the replacement process, the thinner
wheels were lled with nonhygroscopic paper matrix to consti-
tute wheels as thick as 100mm (Fig. 4(a)).
The physical properties of desiccant wheel are shown in Table 1.
Two shells were utilized to divide the cross-section of desiccant
wheel into four parts as shown in Fig. 4(b). A screw bolt was
drilled through the center point of the two shells and desiccant
wheel to x them. Besides, the shell and desiccant wheel were
connected by rubber pad to minimize the leakage.
A driving subsystem was designed to rotate the desiccant
wheel. It consists of an electromotor (0.2kW), a wheel disk, a belt
and a transducer. The wheel disk and belt were used to transfer
power from electromotor to desiccant wheel. Transducer was
adopted to control the frequency of electromotor, through which
rotation speed of desiccant wheel could be adjusted.
3.1.2. Sensible heat exchanger, evaporative cooler and air heater
Cross-ow plate-n-type heat exchangers made of aluminum
were used in the system. The designed maximum air ow rate and
efciency were 400m
3
/h and 0.75, respectively. The calculated
pressure loss in the heat exchanger was less than 130Pa. Direct
evaporative coolers made by Shanghai T-YACHT Refrigeration
Equipment CO.LTD with efciency of 0.65 were adopted [17].
Moreover, four 0.5kW electrical heaters were used in each
regeneration side to simulate low-grade energy. The electric
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Valve
Desiccant Wheel
Heat Exchanger
Fan
5
10
12
Heater
13
1
4
Regeneration air 1 & 2
Process air
9 8
14
2
3
11
7
Evaporative Cooler
6
6
12-1
8-1
Regeneration air
in the 2nd stage
Process air
in the 2nd stage
Regeneration air
in the 1st stage
Process air
in the 1st stage
Fig. 2. Schematic drawing of the one-rotor two-stage rotary desiccant cooling system (OTSDC).
Fig. 3. Photographic view of the experimental setup: (a) air preconditioning unit
and (b) OTSDC.
T.S. Ge et al. / Energy 33 (2008) 18071815 1809
heater was used here for two reasons: (1) to regulate the
regeneration temperature accurately and automatically and (2)
to reduce the system size.
3.1.3. Fans
According to previous experimental results [15,16], the pres-
sure loss in the desiccant wheel was between 100 and 150 Pa.
Considering the inuence of air damper and air lter, the loss in
the air duct was about 180Pa. Therefore the total pressure loss for
each stage was around 500Pa including desiccant wheel, heat
exchanger and air duct. For the process air side, two stages were
connected in series and the total pressure loss was 1000Pa. In
contrast, regeneration airs operated in parallel and the pressure
loss was about 500Pa (with the pressure loss in the heater was
within 50Pa). The air ow rate for the fan was designed to be
400m
3
/h. Centrifugal fans (model: L-0.5) were chosen to meet
these requirements.
3.1.4. Airproof and heat insulation
Airproof and heat insulation are extremely important to ensure
good performance of desiccant cooling systems. All the pipelines
are wrapped rst by heat insulation felt and then by berglass
plastic for these purpose. Characteristic of heat insulation felt is
listed in Table 2.
3.1.5. Control panel
A PLC (brand: Thinget; model: XC3-32R-E) was used to control
the operation of OTSDC. Its functions included: (1) controlling the
system operation, including start-up and shut-down; (2) control-
ling the regeneration temperature according to different set
values, control accuracy being within 731C; (3) adjusting the
rotation speed of desiccant wheel; (4) protecting the desiccant
wheel. If the regeneration temperature is higher than 1201C, the
control system terminates the heating process automatically.
3.2. Test sensors
Dry bulb temperature, humidity ratio and air ow rate at
each state point were measured and data were taken under
steady-state conditions when all the measured values exhibited
ARTICLE IN PRESS
the filled paper matrix
40mm 70mm 100mm
Fig. 4. Photographic view of (a) desiccant wheels with different thicknesses and (b) wheel shell.
Table 1
Physical properties of desiccant wheel
Properties Description Properties Description
Desiccant Silica gel & lithium chloride Substrate Ceramic
Flow pattern in the channels Laminar ow Channel shape Honeycomb
Half width of ow channels 0.003m Half height of channels 0.003m
Width 0.04, 0.07, 0.1m Diameter 0.40m
Table 2
Main technical specications of the heat insulation
Properties Units Value
Density kg/m
3
40200
Range of temperature 1C 250 to 750
Diameter of ber mm o5
Thermal conductivity W/m
2
K 0.034
Performance of waterproof Sopping ratioo2%
Causticity and toxicity No
T.S. Ge et al. / Energy 33 (2008) 18071815 1810
negligible change over an arbitrarily long period. The temperature
and humidity ratio were measured by a series of high-accuracy
and multi-functioned digital thermo/hygrometer (type:
THT-N263A). The upper limit, lower limit and precision of the
temperature sensors were 60, 10 and 70.51C, respectively.
The relative humidity ratio measured by the sensors ranged from
10% to 100% and the precision was within 72%. A thermoelectric
anemoscope was adopted to measure the air ow rates. A data
logger collected the electric signal transmitted from the digital
thermo/hygrometer in an interval of every 30s.
4. Performance indices and error analysis
Two categories of performance index were used to evaluate the
performance of OTSDC. The rst group considered the dehumidi-
cation capacity of OTSDC. Moisture removal D was adopted as an
index, which can be calculated by the following equation:
D d
ads;in
d
ads;out
d
1
d
5
(1)
where d
ads,in
and d
ads,out
stand for the inlet and outlet humidity
ratio of process air, respectively.
Thermal performance COP
th
was used as another indicator to
represent the overall performance and energy efciency of
desiccant cooling system. It was dened as the ratio between
the cooling power Q
c
and the regeneration heat Q
reg1
, Q
reg2
. The
electrical power input of the fans was neglected as thermal energy
is the primary energy source.
COP
th

Q
c
Q
reg1
Q
reg2

M
ads
rh
1
h
5

M
reg1
rh
9
h
8
M
reg2
rh
13
h
12

(2)
Here r is the density of air in kg/m
3
. The uncertainties in the
experimental results were caused by errors in the primary
measurements. Kline and McClitock [18] derived the following
expressions (Eqs. (3) and (4)) to calculate the experimental
accuracy:
Dy
qf
qx
1
_ _
2
Dx
1

qf
qx
2
_ _
2
Dx
2

2

qf
qx
n
_ _
2
Dx
n

2
_ _
1=2
(3)
Dy
y

qf
qx1
_ _
2
Dx
1
y
_ _
2

qf
qx2
_ _
2
Dx
2
y
_ _
2

qf
qxn
_ _
2
Dxn
y
_ _
2
_

_
_

_
1=2
(4)
f is the function of independent variables; x
1
, x
2
, etc. stand for the
variables of the function; Dx
1
, Dx
2
, etc. are the absolute error
associated with the variables and Dy/y means the relative error.
Based on these relationships, a detailed error analysis
indicated that the overall uncertainty was within 79.39% for
the experimental moisture removal D and 711.03% for the
experimental COP
th
.
Moreover, the measurement error is also affected by the
propriety of the sensor installation. Particularly, the accuracy of
the air ux evaluation from air velocity measurement depends
largely on uniformity of the velocity eld. Energy and mass
balance between the process air and regeneration air in the heat
exchangers as well as in the desiccant rotors were carefully
examined to verify the accuracy of air ow rate. The energy and
mass change of process air and regeneration air in different
components can be expressed by the following equations:
DQ
ads=reg
jM
ads=reg;out
r
ads=reg;out
h
ads=reg;out
M
ads=reg;in
r
ads=reg;in
h
ads=reg;in
j (5)
Dd
ads=reg
jM
ads=reg;out
r
ads=reg;out
d
ads=reg;out
M
ads=reg;in
r
ads=reg;in
d
ads=reg;in
j (6)
In a series of operating conditions, Fig. 5 depicts the experi-
mental results in terms of energy and mass change in process air
side (DQ
ads,DW
, DQ
ads,HE1
, DQ
ads,HE2
, Dd
ads,DW
) and the correspond-
ing results in regeneration air side (DQ
reg,DW
, DQ
reg1,HE
, DQ
reg2,HE
,
Dd
reg,DW
). It is shown that the results agree well and the
discrepancy between the results is less than 7% for heat balance
and less than 5% for mass balance.
5. Experimental results and discussions
The performance of OTSDC with wheel thickness changing
from 40 to 100mm was tested under ARI summer and humid
conditions. The operating conditions are listed in Table 3. During
the testing, it took about 20min for the OTSDC to reach steady
state.
ARTICLE IN PRESS
0.0
0.0
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.4
0.5
-7%
+7%
E
n
e
r
g
y

c
h
a
n
g
e

i
n

r
e
g
e
n
e
r
a
t
i
o
n

a
i
r

(
k
W
)
Energy change in process air (kW)
0
0
1
2
3
4
5
-5%
+5%
M
a
s
s

c
h
a
n
g
e

i
n

r
e
g
e
n
e
r
a
t
i
o
n

a
i
r

(
k
g
/
h
)
Mass change in process air (kg/h)
0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5
1 2 3 4 5
Fig. 5. Comparisons between (a) energy change in process air and regeneration air
side and (b) mass change in process air and regeneration air side.
T.S. Ge et al. / Energy 33 (2008) 18071815 1811
5.1. Effect of rotation speed
It was reported that rotation speed is a crucial operating
parameter, which affects system performance signicantly and
there exists an optimal rotation speed for one-stage system at
which moisture removal achieves a maximum [19,20]. Since two
stages are realized in one rotary wheel, the effect of rotation speed
might be different. Therefore effects of rotation speed on system
performance including moisture removal D and COP
th
were tested
with different wheel thicknesses.
Figs. 6 and 7 depict the experimental results under ARI
summer and humid condition. The rotation speed varies in the
range of 220r/h. The results indicate that the inuences
of rotation speed on system performance are similar under
ARI summer and humid condition: (1) there exists optimal
rotation speed under the testing condition at which system could
obtain not only the greatest moisture removal but also the highest
COP
th
. (2) For the same wheel thickness, when regeneration
temperature is between 50 and 901C, optimal rotation speed
increases slightly when regeneration temperature increases. This
is mainly because desiccant material can be better regenerated at
higher regeneration temperature and in that case, rotation speed
should increase to drive the well-regenerated desiccant out of
regeneration sector in time. (3) For the same regeneration
temperature, optimal rotation speed increases with a decrease
of wheel thickness. If the wheel is too thick, heat and mass
transfer are worse at the segment near the exit. As a result lower
rotation speed is required for the air and desiccant to have more
time to contact.
Jia [15] and Jia et al. [16] investigated the effect of rotation
speed on moisture removal of one-stage composite rotary
desiccant system. It was found that the optimal rotation speed
for one-stage system with a wheel thickness of 100mm is in the
range of 816r/h under ARI summer condition. Under similar
condition, the obtained optimal rotation speed of OTSDC is
between 4 and 8r/h, which is smaller than the former one. The
results may be caused by the smaller angle in circumferential
direction both for process and regeneration air in OTSDC.
5.2. Effect of wheel thickness
System performances with respect to different wheel thick-
nesses L under two ARI conditions are depicted in Figs. 8(a) and
(b). All the results are obtained at the condition of optimal
rotation speed. It can be seen that the peak moisture removal
increases with increasing wheel thickness under the experimental
conditions. The OTSDC with thickness of 100mm shows better
moisture removal capacity. This is mainly because more desiccant
material is adopted to dehumidify process air by using thick
desiccant wheel. Also, under ARI summer and humid condition, if
the wheel thickness varies from 40 to 70mm, COP
th
increases by
about 0.1 and 0.15, respectively. However, when L further
increases from 70 to 100mm, COP
th
almost keeps constant. This
means although much more latent load has been handled, its
increase is not signicant compared to the increase in required
regeneration heat under this condition.
ARTICLE IN PRESS
Table 3
Operating conditions for experiment runs under typical conditions (Figs. 69)
Operation parameters Baseline values
Process air inlet temperature (ARI summer) 35.01C
Process air inlet humidity ratio (ARI summer) 14.3g/kg
Process air inlet temperature (ARI humid) 30.0 1C
Process air inlet humidity ratio (ARI humid) 16.2g/kg
Return air (indoor air) temperature (summer & humid) 26.7 1C
Return air humidity ratio 11.1g/kg
Enthalpy of indoor air 55.2 kJ/kg
Process air ux 360m
3
/h
Regeneration air ux in desiccant wheel (M
9
/M
13
) 135m
3
/h
Regeneration air ux in heat exchanger M
7
/M
11
360m
3
/h
Regeneration temperature (T
9
/T
13
) 50.090.01C
0
3
6
9
12
D
COPth
ARI summer condition L = 100mm
M
o
i
s
t
u
r
e

R
e
m
o
v
a
l

(
g
/
k
g
)
Treg (C)
50 70 90
D
COPth
Treg (C)
50 70 90
D
COPth
Treg (C)
50 70 90
0.0
0.6
1.2
1.8
2.4
C
O
P
t
h
0
3
6
9
12
ARI Summer condition L = 70mm
M
o
i
s
t
u
r
e

R
e
m
o
v
a
l

(
g
/
k
g
)
0.0
0.6
1.2
1.8
2.4
C
O
P
t
h
4
0
3
6
9
12
ARI summer condition L = 40mm
Rotation Speed (r/h)
M
o
i
s
t
u
r
e

R
e
m
o
v
a
l

(
g
/
k
g
)
0.0
0.6
1.2
1.8
2.4
C
O
P
t
h
8 12 16 20
4
Rotation Speed (r/h)
8 12 16 20
4
Rotation Speed (r/h)
8 12 16 20
Fig. 6. Effect of rotation speed on system performance under ARI summer
condition with respect to different wheel thicknesses: (a) L 100, (b) L 70 and
(c) L 40mm.
T.S. Ge et al. / Energy 33 (2008) 18071815 1812
5.3. Effect of regeneration temperature
Fig. 9 summarizes the optimal results with different regenera-
tion temperatures. As expected, moisture removal capacity
enhances under the condition of higher regeneration temperature.
However, the increase of thermal energy consumption is more
signicant. Therefore, high regeneration temperature results in
lower COP
th
.
5.4. System performance analysis
In order to evaluate the performance of OTSDC more
comprehensively, the outlet process air condition as well as COP
th
at the optimal rotation speed are summarized in Table 4. In
addition, the overall COP taking account of the electrical power
(three fans of 250W and one motor of 200W) are calculated and
listed in Table 4. As listed in Table 3, the enthalpy of indoor air is
about 55.2kJ/kg. Therefore when h
5
is less than 55.2kJ/kg, OTSDC
can provide a satisfactory supply of air by using a direct
evaporative cooler. It is indicated in Table 2 that under ARI
summer condition, the OTSDC with thickness of 100, 70 and
40mm can provide satisfactory supply of air if regeneration
temperatures are higher than 60, 60 and 801C, respectively.
Meanwhile, system COP
th
is almost higher than 0.8 and it can
reach 1.17 due to the lower regeneration temperature. On the
other hand, for ARI humid condition, if regeneration temperature
is higher than 701C, the OTSDC with thickness of 70 and 100mm
can provide satisfactory supply of air and COP
th
is higher than 0.85
under testing conditions.
Experimental results of one-stage desiccant wheel cooling
system (OSDC) [15] as well as TSDC [14] under ARI summer
condition with wheel thickness of 100mm are listed in Table 5.
Compared to the obtained results of OTSDC, it can be found that:
(1) OTSDC is superior to OSDC. For a similar moisture removal
capacity (D 4.58g/kg), regeneration temperature and COP
th
of
OTSDC are 601C and 1.17, respectively. The corresponding values
ARTICLE IN PRESS
0
3
6
9
12
D
COPth
ARI summer condition L = 100mm
M
o
i
s
t
u
r
e

R
e
m
o
v
a
l

(
g
/
k
g
)
Treg (C)
50 70 90
D
COPth
Treg (C)
50 70 90
D
COPth
Treg (C)
50 70 90
0.0
0.6
1.2
1.8
2.4
C
O
P
t
h
0
3
6
9
12
ARI Summer condition L = 70mm
M
o
i
s
t
u
r
e

R
e
m
o
v
a
l

(
g
/
k
g
)
0.0
0.6
1.2
1.8
2.4
C
O
P
t
h
4
0
3
6
9
12
ARI summer condition L = 40mm
Rotation Speed (r/h)
M
o
i
s
t
u
r
e

R
e
m
o
v
a
l

(
g
/
k
g
)
0.0
0.6
1.2
1.8
2.4
C
O
P
t
h
8 12 16 20
4
Rotation Speed (r/h)
8 12 16 20
4
Rotation Speed (r/h)
8 12 16 20
Fig. 7. Effect of rotation speed on system performance under ARI humid condition
with respect to different wheel thicknesses: (a) L 100 (b) L 70 and (c)
L 40mm.
40
0
3
6
9
12
ARI summer condition
Wheel thickness L (mm)
M
o
i
s
t
u
r
e

R
e
m
o
v
a
l

(
g
/
k
g
)
D
COPth
Treg (C)
50 70 90
0.0
0.6
1.2
1.8
2.4
C
O
P
t
h
0
3
6
9
12
ARI humid condition
M
o
i
s
t
u
r
e

R
e
m
o
v
a
l

(
g
/
k
g
)
D
COPth
Treg (C)
50 70 90
0.0
0.6
1.2
1.8
2.4
C
O
P
t
h
70 100
40
Wheel thickness L (mm)
70 100
Fig. 8. Effect of rotation speed on system performance under (a) ARI summer
condition and (b) ARI humid condition.
T.S. Ge et al. / Energy 33 (2008) 18071815 1813
of OSDC are 901C, which is 33% higher and 0.98, which is 16%
lower. (2) Under a similar condition, moisture removal of the
OTSDC is similar to that of TSDC but the COP
th
is higher. This is
mainly due to the higher efciency of heat exchanger in the
present experimental setup. Therefore, OTSDC inherits the merits
of two-stage system: low regeneration temperature and high
COP
th
at low regeneration temperature. This means that low-grade
thermal energy can also be efciently utilized and the operating
costs can be signicantly reduced. (3) The size of the OTSDC is
efciently reduced, which is only about half (2m0.9m0.8m)
of TSDC (2m0.95m1.5m).
6. Conclusion
In this paper, a one-rotor two-stage rotary desiccant cooling
system (OTSDC) is proposed and investigated experimentally. By
dividing the cross-section of one desiccant wheel into four parts,
two-stage dehumidication process can be realized in one wheel.
An experimental setup of this system has been built and tested
under ARI summer and humid conditions with respect to different
wheel thicknesses. System performance is evaluated in terms of
moisture removal D and thermal coefcient of performance COP
th
.
As a brief summary, the basic results are listed as follows:
(1) Realization of two-stage dehumidication process by one
rotary wheel is feasible.
(2) There exits an optimal rotation speed to obtain the biggest
moisture removal and the highest COP
th
. The optimal rotation
speed increases with an increase of regeneration temperature
ARTICLE IN PRESS
50
0
3
6
9
12
ARI summer condition
M
o
i
s
t
u
r
e

R
e
m
o
v
a
l

(
g
/
k
g
)
D
COPth
L (mm)
40 70 100
0.0
0.6
1.2
1.8
2.4
C
O
P
t
h
50
0
3
6
9
12
ARI humid condition
M
o
i
s
t
u
r
e

R
e
m
o
v
a
l

(
g
/
k
g
)
D
COPth
L (mm)
40 70 100
0.0
0.6
1.2
1.8
2.4
C
O
P
t
h
Regeneration temperature (C)
60 70 80 90
Regeneration temperature (C)
60 70 80 90
Fig. 9. Effect of regeneration temperature on system performance: (a) ARI summer
condition and (b) ARI humid condition.
Table 4
Experimental results under ARI summer and humid condition
L (mm) T
reg
(1C) ARI summer ARI humid
d
5
(g/kg) H
5
(kJ/kg) COP
th
COP d
5
(g/kg) H
5
(kJ/kg) COP
th
COP
100 50 10.51 56.35 1.38 0.80 12.37 60.28 1.27 0.70
60 9.52 54.38 1.17 0.76 10.53 56.40 1.11 0.69
70 7.93 51.34 1.03 0.74 9.07 53.83 1.02 0.69
80 6.78 49.34 0.95 0.71 7.74 51.70 0.93 0.68
90 5.55 47.28 0.87 0.68 6.60 49.34 0.88 0.67
70 50 11.26 58.06 1.32 0.74 12.63 60.82 1.25 0.68
60 10.12 55.78 1.13 0.72 10.95 57.00 1.08 0.67
70 8.80 53.39 1.01 0.70 9.53 54.72 0.99 0.67
80 7.42 50.80 0.94 0.69 8.34 52.91 0.92 0.66
90 6.16 48.47 0.86 0.66 7.21 50.61 0.86 0.65
40 50 12.31 60.45 1.22 0.66 13.95 63.83 1.09 0.55
60 11.26 58.06 1.03 0.64 12.33 60.50 0.91 0.54
70 10.38 56.91 0.96 0.62 11.17 58.29 0.8 0.53
80 9.54 55.66 0.87 0.60 10.64 58.31 0.73 0.50
90 8.58 54.05 0.78 0.58 9.58 56.31 0.68 0.49
The bold numbers are satisfactory supply of air.
Table 5
COP
th
of OSDC and TSDC under ARI summer condition [14,15]
T
reg
(1C) D (g/kg) Dd
ads
(kg/h)
COP
th
OSDC (M
ads
360m
3
/h
M
reg
160170m
3
/h)
50 1.83 0.79 1.39
60 2.48 1.07 1.23
70 3.53 1.52 1.12
80 4.11 1.78 1.03
90 4.58 1.98 0.98
TSDC (M
ads
360m
3
/h
M
reg
130140m
3
/h)
50 3.31 1.43 1.33
60 4.53 1.94 1.16
70 6.70 2.89 1.04
80
7.85
3.39 0.85
90
8.41
3.63 0.71
T.S. Ge et al. / Energy 33 (2008) 18071815 1814
and decrease of wheel thickness. The optimal rotation speed
with wheel thickness of 100mm is in the range 48r/h under
ARI summer and humid condition.
(3) Under testing conditions, the system with wheel thickness of
100mm performs better than the one with 70mm as well as
40 mm. This can provide satisfactory supply of air when
regeneration temperatures are higher than 60 and 701C under
ARI summer and humid condition, respectively. Besides, high
COP
th
can be obtained under lower regeneration temperature.
(4) Compared to the performance of OSDC and TSDC, the
investigated OTSDC inherits the merits of two-stage dehumi-
dication system: low regeneration temperature and high
COP
th
. The most important one is the size of OTSDC is only half
of that of TSDC.
In conclusion, the novel OTSDC achieves the objective of
reducing the size of two-stage system with no reduction in
system performance.
Acknowledgement
We deeply appreciate the nancial support of Daikin Company
for the National Key Technologies R&D Program under Contract
no. 2006BAA04B03.
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