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Energies 2016, 9(9), 724; doi:10.3390/en9090724

Performance Assessment of a Solar-Assisted Desiccant-Based Air Handling Unit Considering Different Scenarios

Department of Engineering, University of Sannio, Piazza Roma 21, Benevento 82100, Italy
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Academic Editor: Tapas Mallick
Received: 21 June 2016 / Revised: 2 August 2016 / Accepted: 30 August 2016 / Published: 8 September 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renewable Energy Technologies for Small Scale Applications)
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Abstract

In this paper, three alternative layouts (scenarios) of an innovative solar-assisted hybrid desiccant-based air handling unit (AHU) are investigated through dynamic simulations. Performance is evaluated with respect to a reference system and compared to those of the innovative plant without modifications. For each scenario, different collector types, surfaces and tilt angles are considered. The effect of the solar thermal energy surplus exploitation for other low-temperature uses is also investigated. The first alternative scenario consists of the recovery of the heat rejected by the condenser of the chiller to pre-heat the regeneration air. The second scenario considers the pre-heating of regeneration air with the warmer regeneration air exiting the desiccant wheel (DW). The last scenario provides pre-cooling of the process air before entering the DW. Results reveal that the plants with evacuated solar collectors (SC) can ensure primary energy savings (15%–24%) and avoid equivalent CO2 emissions (14%–22%), about 10 percentage points more than those with flat-plate collectors, when the solar thermal energy is used only for air conditioning and the collectors have the best tilt angle. If all of the solar thermal energy is considered, the best results with evacuated tube collectors are approximately 73% in terms of primary energy saving, 71% in terms of avoided equivalent CO2 emissions and a payback period of six years. View Full-Text
Keywords: solar desiccant cooling; desiccant wheel (DW); dynamic simulation; thermo-economic analysis; layout modifications solar desiccant cooling; desiccant wheel (DW); dynamic simulation; thermo-economic analysis; layout modifications
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Angrisani, G.; Roselli, C.; Sasso, M.; Tariello, F.; Vanoli, G.P. Performance Assessment of a Solar-Assisted Desiccant-Based Air Handling Unit Considering Different Scenarios. Energies 2016, 9, 724.

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