Desiccant dehumidifiers are quite different from cooling-based dehumidifiers. Instead of cooling the air to condense its moisture, desiccants attract moisture from the air by creating an area of low vapor pressure at the surface of the desiccant. The pressure exerted by the water in the air is higher, so the water molecules move from the air to the desiccant and the air is dehumidified.
Desiccant dehumidification systems have the capability to dry the air to any desired temperature & humidity level, which is an advantage for certain applications.
Refer to the above schematic and the psychrometric chart:
- 1-2: Outside air, after passing through an enthalpy recovery wheel;
- 2-3: Passes over a pre-cooling coil to reduce the air temperature.
- 3-4: Pre-cooled air then blows through a desiccant dehumidification wheel where it goes through an isenthalpic process. During this process, the moisture content of the air reduces and increases the temperature.
- 4-5: The high temperature air then passes over a post-cooling coil to cool it down to the required supply air temperature.
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