Desiccant dehumidification and air-conditioning systems require careful design to minimize large parasitic power requirements for pumps and blowers. Each component depends to some extent on overall system characteristics, yet each component must be carefully modeled in itself. The most challenging part of optimizing a system is the absorber design. In order to increase the heat and mass transfer rate while minimizing the pressure loss in the absorber, a direct contact falling film fin-tube heat exchanger is analyzed with water flowing on the tube side and desiccant flowing as a falling film on the fin side. Air is cooled and dehumidified by the water and desiccant as it is circulated through the absorber. A model to analyze the heat and mass transfer in the absorber has been developed. An optimum design has been selected based on not only thermal performance but also practical and economic considerations. Application of the absorber design is then made to design of a complete desiccant system for use with low-temperature heat as an energy source.

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