NREL has developed the novel concept of a desiccant enhanced evaporative air conditioner (DEVap) with the objective of combining the benefits of liquid desiccant and evaporative cooling technologies into an innovative “cooling core.” Liquid desiccant technologies have extraordinary dehumidification potential, but require an efficient cooling sink. DEVap’s thermodynamic potential overcomes many shortcomings of standard refrigeration-based direct expansion cooling. DEVap decouples cooling and dehumidification performance, which results in independent temperature and humidity control. The energy input is largely switched away from electricity to low-grade thermal energy that can be sourced from fuels such as natural gas, waste heat, solar, or biofuels.
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