Liquid desiccant cooling can provide control of temperature and humidity, while at the same time lowering the electrical energy requirement for air conditioning. Since the largest energy requirement associated with desiccant cooling is low temperature heat for desiccant regeneration, the regeneration process greatly influences the overall system performance. Therefore, the effects of variables such as air and desiccant flow rates, air temperature and humidity, desiccant temperature and concentration, and the area available for heat and mass transfer on the regeneration process are of great interest. Due to the complexity of the regeneration process, which involves simultaneous heat and mass transfer, theoretical modeling must be verified by experimental studies. However, a limited number of experimental studies are reported in the literature. This paper presents results from a detailed experimental investigation of the heat and mass transfer between a liquid desiccant (triethylene glycol) and air in a packed bed regenerator using high liquid flow rates. To regenerate the desiccant, it is heated to temperatures readily obtainable from flat-plate solar collectors. A high performance packing that combines good heat and mass transfer characteristics with low pressure drop is used. The rate of water evaporation, as well as the effectiveness of the regeneration process is assessed based on the variables listed above. Good agreement is shown to exist between the experimental findings and predictions from finite difference modeling. In addition, the findings in the present study are compared to findings previously reported In the literature. Also, the results presented here characterize the important variables that impact the system design.

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