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Research Papers: Heat and Mass Transfer

An Analytical Solution to Heat and Mass Transfer in Hollow Fiber Membrane Contactors for Liquid Desiccant Air Dehumidification

[+] Author and Article Information
Li-Zhi Zhang

Key Laboratory of Enhanced Heat Transfer and Energy Conservation of Education Ministry, School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering,  South China University of Technology, Guangzhou 510640, ChinaLzzhang@scut.edu

J. Heat Transfer 133(9), 092001 (Jul 27, 2011) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4003900 History: Received May 20, 2010; Revised March 23, 2011; Published July 27, 2011; Online July 27, 2011

Hollow fiber membrane contactors are used in air dehumidification. The benefit of this technology is that the liquid desiccant is not in a direct contact with the process air; therefore, the problem of liquid droplets crossover is prevented. The equations governing the heat and moisture transfer from the air to the liquid, through the membranes, are described. An analytical solution is obtained for the dimensionless differential equations, with which the dehumidification effectiveness could be estimated by simple algebraic calculations. It provides a convenient yet accurate tool for the component design and system optimization. The model is validated by experiments. The effects of varying operating conditions on system performance are investigated. It is found that the total number of transfer units for sensible heat and the overall Lewis number are the most dominant parameters influencing heat and mass transfer.

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Copyright © 2011 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

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Figure 1

Schematic of the hollow fiber membrane module for air dehumidification

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Figure 2

The experimental set-up for the air dehumidification cycle

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Figure 3

Processes in the thermodynamic chart of the solution. Processes 1-2-3-4 is for solution; 5–6 for dehumidified air, and 5–7 for regeneration air.

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Figure 4

Heat and moisture transfer model in the hollow fiber membrane module

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Figure 5

Variations of air flow rates on sensible and latent effectiveness

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Figure 6

Variations of air flow rates on the dimensionless parameters governing heat mass transfer

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