This paper presents the development of an equation based model to simulate the combined heat and mass transfer in the desiccant wheels. The performance model is one dimensional in the axial direction. It applies a lumped formulation in the thickness direction of the desiccant and the substrate. The boundary conditions of this problem represent the inlet outside/process and building exhaust/regeneration air conditions as well as the adiabatic condition of the two ends of the desiccant composite. The solutions of this model are iterated until the wheel reaches periodic steady state operation. The modeling results are obtained as the changes of the outside/process and building exhaust/regeneration air conditions along the wheel depth and the wheel rotation. This performance model relates the wheel’s design parameters, such as the wheel dimension, the channel size and the desiccant properties, and the wheel’s operating variables, such as the rotary speed and the regeneration air flowrate, to its operating performance. The impact of some practical issues, such as wheel purge, residual water in the desiccant and the wheel supporting structure, on the wheel performance has also been investigated.

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