The present study examines the performance of a hybrid air-conditioning system in which a vapour compression inverse cycle is integrated with an air dehumidification system working with hygroscopic solution and hydrophobic membrane. This approach may prove to be a valid alternative to the traditional summertime air-conditioning system, which involves cooling the air to below its dew point and subsequently reheating it. The system examined simultaneously cools and dehumidifies the air in an air-LiCl solution membrane vapour exchanger before it enters the conditioned environment. The LiCl solution is cooled by means of a vapour compression inverse cycle that uses the refrigerant KLEA 407C. The heat rejected by the condenser is used to regenerate the solution. A SIMULINK calculation programme was used to simulate the system in steady-state conditions. The performance of the system was analysed on varying significant operating parameters and was compared with that of a traditional direct-expansion air-conditioning plant. The results of the simulations revealed significant power saving which, in certain operating conditions, was as much as 50%.

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