In this work, the transient performance of a hybrid desiccant vapor compression air conditioning system is numerically simulated for the ambient conditions of Beirut. The main feature of this hybrid system is that the regenerative heat needed by the desiccant wheel is partly supplied by the condenser dissipated heat while the rest is supplied by an auxiliary gas heater. The hybrid air conditioning system of the present study replaces a 23 kW vapor compression unit for a typical office in Beirut characterized by a high latent load. The vapor compression subsystem size in the hybrid air conditioning system is reduced to 15 kW at the peak load when the regeneration temperature was fixed at 75 °C. Also the sensible heat ratio of the combined hybrid system increased from 0.47 to 0.73. Based on hour by hour simulation studies for a wide range of recorded ambient conditions of Beirut city, this paper predicts the annual energy consumption of the hybrid system in comparison with the conventional vapor compression system for the entire cooling season. The annual running costs savings for the hybrid system is 418.39 USD for a gas cost price of 0.141 USD/kg. The pay back period of the hybrid system is less than five years when the initial cost of the hybrid air conditioning system priced an additional 1712.00 USD. Hence, for a 20-year life cycle, the life cycle savings of the hybrid air conditioning system are 4295.19 USD. © 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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