Building Simulation: An International Journal

Article Title

Simulation and experimental analysis of a fresh air-handling unit with liquid desiccant sensible and latent heat recovery


liquid desiccant, fresh air-handling unit, testing, simulation


This article introduces a liquid desiccant fresh air processor. Its driving force is low-grade heat (heat obtained from 65 – 75°C hot water). Inside the processor, the air is dehumidified by the evaporative cooling energy of the indoor exhaust air. A four-stage structure is used to increase the efficiency of the combined sensible and latent heat recovery from the exhaust air. A mathematical model of the fresh air processor was set up using Simulink®. A liquid desiccant fresh air processor was constructed and tested for outside air conditions of 29.1 – 33.6°C, 13.7 – 16.7g/kg humidity ratio, and supply air conditions of 23.6 – 24.2°C, 7.4 – 8.6g/kg humidity ratio. The average measured COP f was 1.6 (cold production divided by latent heat removed) for the range of conditions tested. The corresponding average COP sys of the system including the regenerator was 1.3 (cold production divided by heat input). The detailed operating parameters of each part of the test unit were also measured. The test data was compared with the simulated performance. The characteristic coefficients (such as the volumetric mass transfer coefficient of the air-water evaporative cooling module, etc.) in the mathematical model were modified to calibrate the model output to the measured data. The calibrated simulation model was used to investigate the control strategy of the fresh air processor. The flow rate of the strong solution into the unit and the number of operation stages may be controlled separately or together to meet different indoor air requirements at different outdoor conditions. The hot water driven liquid desiccant air conditioning system was compared with a typical vapor compression system with an average COP of 4.5; the pump and fan power of the proposed system was 40% of the combined chiller, pump, and fan consumption. We achieved savings of over 30% of the power consumption compared with the traditional system under the designed outdoor air conditions.


Tsinghua University Press