Humidity Control – Desiccant Dehumidification Systems
Humidity control is essential to the comfort and health of building occupants, to indoor air quality, and, for industrial enterprises, to the manufacture and storage of products. Excess humidity can cause condensation, encourage the growth of molds, mildew and disease-causing bacteria, infiltrate the manufacturing process, damage stored products, and leave building occupants feeling hot and sticky. Dehumidification is especially important to grocery stores with large refrigeration units, indoor pools and skating rinks, the pharmaceutical, chemical, plastics and electronics industries, and to medical facilities, office buildings and educational institutions. However, any building subject to high humidity can benefit from a dehumidification system.
Dehumidification can be achieved through conventional cooling methods that sacrifice comfort, efficiency and equipment performance by overcooling the conditioned space. A better alternative is desiccant dehumidification which is solely responsible for the humidity component of cooling (latent cooling), leaving the cooling equipment to operate efficiently and effectively on the temperature component (sensible cooling). Working together, conventional air conditioning and desiccant technology can more efficiently handle temperature and humidity control, but desiccant dehumidification can be used as a stand-alone system.
Gas desiccant systems can remove twice as much moisture from the air as a refrigeration system. This is because they generally require less than half the air volume required by conventional electric cooling systems to control humidity, allowing the cooling equipment to operate more efficiently and the system’s air handling equipment to be downsized. Two types of desiccant dehumidification are available: dry desiccants and liquid desiccants.