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LIQUID DESICCANT TECHNOLOGY

Advantix Systems
Liquid Desiccant: How it works

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What is liquid desiccant?

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Start with a very salty solution…

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…Which will create the “Dead Sea Effect” of absorption

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A two part system enables transport…

Any imbalance will create a driving force for


equilibrating the solutions between the two parts

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…and finally adding a heat source creates a continuous
dehumidification process

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Basic Function: thermal energy can be derived from many
sources

Thermal Transfer Source


• Heat Pump - Electricity only

• Electricity and external hot/cold


water
• Hybrid - Heat pump AND
external/renewable sources

• Heat Pump models maximize convenience (plug & play)

• External hot/cold models take advantage of existing or renewable


thermal sources/sinks to provide maximum possible energy savings

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How it works

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Background: The science of humidity control

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A building’s air conditioning load comes from a variety of
sources
External Internal
Thermal • Heat conduction through • Lights
(Sensible) envelope • Fans & other motors
• Fenestration • Office equipment and
• OA Ventilation (sensible electronics
portion) • Miscellaneous plug loads
• Infiltration (sensible portion) • People (sensible portion)
• Industrial machinery
Moisture • OA Ventilation (latent portion) • People (latent portion)
(Latent) • Infiltration (latent portion) • Plants
• Permeation • Cooking
• Pools, showers, spa
• Washing/ Washdowns
• Drying processes
• Other wet processes

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Air conditioning loads require both temperature and humidity
control

Conventional A/C Process


Primary Sources
Typical Building Temperature
A/C Load Reduced directly by
 Lighting absorbing heat into
 Thermal conduction Temperature the refrigerant
 Solar gains Control
 Plug loads (sensible load) Humidity
 Occupants
Reduced indirectly by
overcooling air past
 Outside air ventilation Humidity Control condensation point
& infiltration (latent load) and then adding
 Occupants reheat which demands
a lot of energy

Though not apparent on the thermostat, humidity control is equally important to


temp control for maintaining comfort, indoor air quality, and building integrity

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The fraction of moisture load in HVAC is substantially
increasing in building design standards
ILLUSTRATIVE
Boston Example
Building 13 15 13
(Btu/ft2)
6 6
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Percent Moisture Load (1- SHR)

100%
Albuquerque
90% Boston

80% Atlanta
Miami
70%
Typical building
60% “design” load is
50% currently 20-40%
moisture load,
40% but evolving
towards 40-60%
30%

20%

10%

0%
1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005
Increased Better Continued
ASHRAE Standard ventilation energy energy
Year rates efficiency efficiency
• Greater awareness • Florescent lighting • CFL/LED
of IAQ/airborne • Insulation / envelope • White roofs
pathogens • Low -E glass • Plug load reduction
• Etc. • Etc.

Source: TIAX 13
Traditional “design” conditions do not reflect the true
challenge of moisture control in modern buildings
Humidity Dehumidification Design Conditions
design 100%
condition

Percent Moisture Load (SHR)


30 Years
YearsObserved
ObservedOutdoor
OutdoorAirAir
Conditions
Cairns AFB Alabama
Conditions, Cairns AFB Alabama 80%

60%

40%
Cooling
design 20%
condition
0%
1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005

Moisture Content
Albuquerque Boston Atlanta Miami

Shoulder/Part Load Design Conditions


100%

Percent Moisture Load (SHR)


80%

60%

40%
Temperature
Part load
20%
condition
0%
1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005
Realistically, the worst-case conditions are already at about 50% - smart
Albuquerque Boston Atlanta Miami
designers are increasingly moving away from the “cooling design” load

Source: TIAX 14
… resulting in a difficulty controlling moisture below full load
conditions

• Duty cycle, aka “Runtime Fraction” is important for conventional coils


• At part load, it is very difficult for standard cooling coil to dehumidify
without over-cooling, or at least large temperature swings (long-cycles)
• True for BOTH chilled water and DX coils, when cooling source is removed,
the condensed water will re-evaporate into the air stream

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… And can be even more challenging in facilities with more
stringent requirements
High ventilation requirements Low dewpoint High internal
requirements humidity load
Health Care Supermarkets Indoor pools

Hospitality (hotels, Hospitals (esp. operating Food Products/Processing


restaurants, auditoriums) rooms)
Schools Pharmaceutical / Health Clubs
Nutraceutical production
Labs Plastic Molding
Electronics manufacturing Painting & Printing

Cold / Dry storage


Ice rinks

Any space using chilled


beams or VRF systems

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Conventional equipment does not sufficiently address the
humidity control challenge in modern buildings

1980 2010 Failure to respond has caused…


Capacity issues
- oversizing
- inadequate ventilation

musty odors
EER 8 10

R-410a, R-407c
Refrigerant Ozone-depleting R-22
environmentally-friendly
mold & bacteria
Humidity ~20% of load @ full capacity ~20% of load @ full capacity
Control/SHR (less at part load) (less at part load)

• Though efficiency has improved, conventional


equipment is fundamentally limited in its ability to
maintenance issues
treat moisture load
• The SHR limits the moisture removal capability
required to maintain required IAQ of modern
buildings

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ASHRAE best practice design standards call for separate
equipment to treat ventilation and/or latent loads

ASHRAE Handbook Ch. 6.7: Although most centralized and decentralized


systems are very effective at handling the space sensible cooling and heating
loads, they are less effective (or ineffective) at handling ventilation air or latent
loads. As a result, outside air should be treated separately.

Dedicated
Outdoor Air
System
Return Air
Conditioner

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Dealing with the latent load

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Basic approaches to humidity control

Approach Technology

Dedicated Outside Air System (DOAS) • Overcools as above, has packaged hot gas reheat
• Specialized coils to allow greater moisture removal

Solid Desiccant • Hygroscopic chemistry adsorbs moisture


• Heat addition necessitates pre-cooling and/or post-cooling of
air

Liquid Desiccant • Hygroscopic chemistry absorbs moisture


• Cools and dries air simultaneously

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An example to compare the approaches
Approach
Dedicated Outside Air System (DOAS)

Example 1: treating 100% outdoor air Solid Desiccant

Requirements: bring 3000 CFM of


humid outdoor air to room-neutral
conditions

Liquid Desiccant

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Mechanical dehumidification/DOAS equipment

Advantages Limitations
• Meets moisture load without • Energy intensive
overcooling the space
• Latent degradation at part load
• Refrigerant-based systems
• High maintenance requirements
familiar to contractors and
consumers

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Adding reheat enables humidity control with mechanical
refrigeration, but at a cost
Example 1: bringing 3000 CFM of
humid outdoor-air to room-neutral
Approach 1: Mechanical
refrigeration + reheat

217 MBH
(18 tons)

74 MBH*

Total: 291 MBH

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Solid desiccant wheel dehumidification

Advantages Limitations
• Able to reach extremely low • Expensive
dew points (< 10 gr/lb) • Energy intensive
• High maintenance requirements
• Usually requires pre-cooling
and/or post cooling equipment

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A desiccant wheel also requires significant excess energy input
* A portion, not all, can be condenser heat

Example 1: bringing 3000 CFM of


humid outdoor-air to room-neutral

Method 2: Solid desiccant

252MBH*
252 MBH*
(For
(Forregeneration)
regeneration)
Note: Pre + Post cool configuration
(not shown) requires similar energy
input

193 MBH
(16 tons)
Total: 445 MBH

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Alternate path of solid desiccant – some energy savings
possible

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To reach San Diego from Miami, why would you connect
through Anchorage?

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Only liquid desiccant can use the thermodynamic minimum energy in
low-SHR tasks

Example 2: bringing 3000 CFM of


humid outdoor-air to room-neutral

Approach 3: Liquid Desiccant

Note: Desiccant regeneration


accomplished entirely through
143 MBH
condenser heat
(12 tons)

Total: 143 MBH

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Liquid Desiccants Do Less Work for the Same Task
Base
processes Units: MBH Conventional Solid desiccant Liquid desiccant

Desiccant wheel Post-


Process Overcool Reheat dehumidification cooling Liquid desiccant cooling

Work required 217 74 252 193 142

Total energy 291 445 142

With
“site”energy
recovery Optimization Condenser hot-gas reheat Condenser heat for regen on-site heat sink

MBH savings -74 -200 -70

Total Energy
Base case 445
291 245
217
Optimized 142
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There are also non-energy, IAQ considerations to compare
between approaches
The conventional approach In contrast, tests and field data
contributes to IAQ issues demonstrate liquid desiccant’s
Cooling coil Fungi positive effect on IAQ
• Laboratory testing shows
desiccant solution killing 99%+ of
microorganisms it contacts
Bacteria

• Field testing shows 89-98%


reduction in airborne
Viruses
microorganisms after install

• Allergens, particulates, and odor


causing molecules also captured
by the process
Wet coils & condensate system
form a veritable petri dish that the
treated air flows over

Advantix Systems Smarter dehumidification and cooling


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Flexible in installation: Good for both new build and retrofits

series install “tight-spaces”


(rooftop) (indoors)
thermal-driven renewable
(mechanical room)

industrial ventilation parallel install commercial ventilation


(rooftop) (rooftop) (pad-mounted)

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Save green by going green – superior economics of LDAC

By dealing with moisture more efficiently:

• 30-40% lower energy consumption than conventional


mechanical systems
Energy costs
(opex) • 30-60% lower energy consumption than desiccant
wheels

• Comparable (or less) upfront cost to alternative


First costs equipment
(capex) • Systems sized more efficiently by handling more
humidity removal than conventional units

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A viable, sustainable solution for many global brands…

Hospitality Healthcare Other Commercial

Pharma Food & Beverage Other Industrial

Advantix Systems Smarter dehumidification and cooling


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How to Apply LDAC

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Application: flexible in installation (1/5)
Commercial (School), Pad mounted
Outdoor air, in parallel

OA LDAC RTU

conditioned
space

Commercial (Restaurant), Rooftop Industrial Ventilation (Food Processing) Pad


mounted

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Application: flexible in installation (2/5)
Commercial (Multifamily), Rooftop
Outdoor air, in series
OA LDAC

AHU

AHU
conditioned
space

Industrial Ventilation (Food processing) Commercial (Hospital), Rooftop


Rooftop

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Application: flexible in installation (3/5)
Commercial (Retail), Rooftop
Internal latent load, in parallel
OA
LDAC RTU

conditioned
space

Industrial (Plastic Molding) Commercial (Fitness Center), Indoor


Indoor

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Application: flexible in installation (4/5)
Commercial (Restaurant)
Internal latent load, in series Pad mounted

LDAC AHU

conditioned
space

Commercial (School) Rooftop Industrial (Pharma) Mechanical Room

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Application: flexible in installation (5/5)
Thermally-Driven
Other Common Installations Renewable
(Office Building)

Cafeteria Hotel, Ballroom


Problem
Spaces

Cold/Dry Indoor
Storage Pool

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LIQUID DESICCANT
AIR CONDITIONING
Saves energy, Controls humidity, Cleans air

Advantix Systems www.advantixsystems.com


Case Studies

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Pharma Production

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Environmental control example – neutral conditions
• Compression area requires moderate
humidity with strict control during the
production process

• Existing conventional A/C system had high


operating costs, owner was seeking a more
economical solution for the plant’s air
treatment

• Owner requested that replacement be done


with minimum modification to the existing
system and no compromise over the desired
conditions

OA AHU LDAC
Design Requirements:
AHU
75 ̊F, 50% RH
Ambient Conditions: conditioned
space
88 ̊F, 80% RH

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LDAC solution is less expensive in first cost and operating costs

Conventional A/C System Liquid Desiccant System

Tons Conventional Cooling 30 20

Reheat System (kW) 21 -

Liquid Desiccant System - Liquid Desiccant Unit

Hourly Operating Cost $5.10 $3.60

Annual Operating Time (hours) 5,000 5,000

Annual Operating Cost $25,500 $18,000

Annual Operational Savings None $7,500

Liquid Desiccant equipment was less expensive than the


more energy-intensive outdoor air unit it replaced

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Powder Processing

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Low humidity – industrial process example

• 65,000 sq. ft plant


• Powder production / packaging line

• Powder processing requires low and


precise humidity control,

• Initial design called for a solid


desiccant wheel in additional to
Design
conventional A/C (chilled water
Requirements: system) to reach desired
81 ̊F, 20% RH environmental control

Ambient Conditions:
88 ̊F, 80% RH
LDAC
conditioned
OA AHU AHU space
AHU

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Operating cost advantage is even greater for low humidity
Solid Desiccant Wheel & Liquid Desiccant &
Chilled Water Chilled Water
Tons of Conventional Cooling 93 33

Approx. Cost of Conventional Equip. $74,400 $26,400

Desiccant Equipment 10,000 CFM desiccant wheel 3 x Liquid Desiccant Units

Cost of Desiccant Equipment $86,000 $70,000

Total First Cost $160,400 $96,400

Annual Energy Consumption (kWh) 2,348,690 1,139,381

Annual operating costs $399,277 $193,695

5-Year Total Cost $2,156,787 $1,064,874

-51%

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Big Box Store

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Economics still favorable replacing inexpensive packaged DX

Before: 280 tons conventional

After: 150 tons + 18,000 CFM LDAC

OA
Liquid
RTU
Desiccant

door

infiltration conditioned
space
door

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Systems for comparison
Conventional Liquid Desiccant Units +
Rooftop DX Units Rooftop DX Units

Tons of Conventional Cooling 280 150


# of Conventional Rooftop
13 7
Units
# of Liquid Desiccant Units - 6
Total Equipment Cost ~$255,000 ~$275,000
Overcooling to achieve Overcooling not required to
Humidity Control
target conditions achieve target conditions
Projected Savings $15,000-35,000/year

For a 9% premium in equipment costs,


payback is under 1 year

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