The performance of open-cycle desiccant air conditioners for residential applications is evaluated. The performance of these systems is compared to that of vapor compression air conditioners on the basis of primary energy use and cost. Systems with improved dehumidifiers can achieve seasonal COP’s on the order of 1.1. These systems, when coupled with a solar energy system to supply regeneration energy, are significantly better than conventional air conditioners on a primary energy basis, but are not presently cost-competitive.

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