This paper presented theoretical and experimental investigations of a liquid desiccant filmed cellulose fibre heat and mass exchanger, a new type of exchanger with the potential to be an alternative to a conventional exchanger. Owing to the complexity of the desiccant assisted heat and mass transfer and difficulty in determining its associated parameters, work started from the simulation of a clear fibre exchanger by developing a dedicated numerical model, and its validation by using the data from the manufacturer of the exchanger. Further to this, laboratory testing was carried out with the same exchanger, but filmed with a liquid desiccant fluid, i.e. LiCl. Comparison between the data of the clear and desiccant filmed exchangers suggested the use of correction factors for heat and mass transfer resistances with desiccant operation. A revised model for the desiccant filmed exchanger was then established taking into account the correction factors. By using the updated model, influence of geometrical sizes and operating conditions of the liquid desiccant filmed exchanger on the exchanger efficiency were studied and the optimal values of these were obtained. The results indicated that the exchanger efficiencies (heat, mass and enthalpy) are largely dependent upon the exchanger channel length, air flow rate and less related to the exchanger channel height, intake air temperature and intake-to-outgoing air moisture content difference. It was also suggested that the air speed across the channels should be in the range 0.5–1.5 m s−1. The height of air channel (passage) should be set at 6.5 mm or below and its length should be 1.0 m or more. A simulation was carried out under UK typical summer operation conditions, i.e. the intake air streams at 30°C db and 70% rh and outgoing air streams at 24°C db and 50% rh, and the results indicated that the exchanger with the above recommended geometrical sizes can achieve an energy efficiency of 87%, which is 30% higher than for non-desiccant filmed operation.
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This is the pre-peer reviewed version of the following article: Liu, S. , Zhao, X. , Riffat, S. and Yuan, Y. (2009) Theoretical and experimental investigations of a liquid desiccant filmed cellulose fibre heat and mass exchanger. International Journal of Energy Research, volume 33 (12): 1076-1088,
which has been published in final form at http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/er.1540
- liquid desiccant
- cellulose fibre
- numerical simulation