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Reducing air-conditioning via desiccants.

During the hot, humid days of summer, most air conditioning systems have to work extremely hard to reduce humidity levels. Today's desiccant technology offers a reliable way of lowering moisture levels without the use of additional costly electrical air conditioning equipment. And since the air conditioning equipment will be cooling the air and not dehumidifying, the total connected load of air conditioning will be reduced as well.

Desiccants have many applications. Any place where humidity control is important or fresh air is required, is a possible candidate for this technology. Supermarkets, ice rinks, schools, hospitals, museums and laboratories are all good examples where desiccant technology can be applied.

Desiccants are excellent mediums for removing humidity from the airstream. Typical desiccant systems use a rotating desiccant wheel. Air is passed through the wheel which absorbs large amounts of water vapor. The moisture is taken out of the wheel by having a heated air stream pass through it. This process enables the wheel to continually take moisture out of the air without interruption.

Some manufacturers, such as ICC Technologies DESI/AIR use a second wheel to reduce the air temperature. The use of an evaporative cooling process reduces both the humidity and heat without mechanical cooling equipment.

Indoor air quality, IAQ, has become an important design criteria for consulting engineers. The outdoor or fresh air requirements for buildings has increased over the years. With buildings being constructed with greater tightness than ever, there is a tremendous challenge for an efficient and cost effective means to supply fresh air.

Desiccant systems meet this challenge while avoiding the recirculation of indoor air that conventional systems use. Desiccant technology can fully supply all the fresh air which today's building designs need.

Since desiccant systems don't use any refrigerants, there is no worry of any ozone depletion. Desiccants use fuels such as clean natural gas to regenerate the desiccant. And when put in a design combined with absorption chillers, you can have a total CFC-Free installation

Rebates are available from both Brooklyn Union Gas and Con Edison for dessicant systems. These rebates vary according to site and consumption.
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Copyright 1993, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:Technology; desiccant technology decreases humidity levels
Author:Scarinci, Thomas V.
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:Sep 22, 1993
Words:352
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