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Research Papers: Heat and Mass Transfer

Steady-State Performance of a Small-Scale Liquid-to-Air Membrane Energy Exchanger for Different Heat and Mass Transfer Directions, and Liquid Desiccant Types and Concentrations: Experimental and Numerical Data

[+] Author and Article Information
Davood Ghadiri Moghaddam

Mechanical Engineering Department,
University of Saskatchewan,
Saskatoon, SK S7N 5A9, Canada
e-mail: d.ghadiri@usask.ca

Philip LePoudre

Venmar CES Inc.,
1502D Quebec Avenue,
Saskatoon, SK S7K 1V7, Canada

Carey J. Simonson

Mechanical Engineering Department,
University of Saskatchewan,
Saskatoon, SK S7N 5A9, Canada

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Heat Transfer Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF HEAT TRANSFER. Manuscript received October 4, 2012; final manuscript received May 1, 2013; published online September 27, 2013. Assoc. Editor: Wilson K. S. Chiu.

J. Heat Transfer 135(12), 122002 (Sep 27, 2013) (13 pages) Paper No: HT-12-1535; doi: 10.1115/1.4024586 History: Received October 04, 2012; Revised May 01, 2013

A liquid-to-air membrane energy exchanger (LAMEE) is an energy exchanger that allows heat and moisture transfer between air and salt solution flows through a semipermeable membrane. For the first time, a novel small-scale single-panel LAMEE test facility is used to experimentally investigate the effect of the direction of heat and mass transfers for the air and salt solution flows, and the effect of different salt solution types and concentrations on the LAMEE effectiveness. The data for steady-state effectiveness of the LAMEE are compared to the simulation results of a numerical model. Two studies are conducted; first a study based on different heat and mass transfer directions (four test cases), and second a study focused on the influence of solution types and concentration on LAMEE performance. For the first study, NTU = 3 and four different heat capacity ratios (i.e., Cr* = 1, 3, 5, 7) are used, with a LiCl salt solution in the exchanger. Mass and energy balances for all the test cases and the repeatability of the experimental data for the air cooling and dehumidifying test case show that the experimental data are repeatable and within an acceptable uncertainty range. The results show increasing effectiveness with increasing Cr*, and good agreement between the numerical and experimental results for both air cooling and dehumidifying and air heating and humidifying test cases. In the second study, two different salt solutions (i.e., LiCl and MgCl2), and three different concentrations for the LiCl solution (i.e., 25%, 30%, and 35%) are selected to investigate the effect of different salt solution types and concentrations on the performance of the LAMEE. A maximum difference of 10% is obtained for the LAMEE total effectiveness data with the different salt solution types and concentrations. The results show that both the salt solution type and concentration affect the LAMEE effectiveness, and changing the concentration is one way to control the supply air outlet humidity ratio.

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Figures

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Fig. 2

The small-scale single-panel LAMEE (a) air and solution flow configurations and (b) cross-section detailed view

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Fig. 1

Schematic of the SPEET facility [16]

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Fig. 3

Air and salt solution (LiCl) inlet set conditions for the different heat and mass transfer directions experiments

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Fig. 5

Experimental air and solution inlet and outlet conditions for the C&H test conditions at NTU = 3 and Cr* = 5 with LiCl salt solution

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Fig. 6

Experimental and numerical small-scale LAMEE (a) sensible, (b) latent, and (c) total effectiveness for the C&H test conditions at NTU = 3 and variable Cr* with LiCl salt solution

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Fig. 4

Experimental and numerical small-scale LAMEE (a) sensible, (b) latent, and (c) total effectiveness for the C&D test conditions at NTU = 3 and variable Cr* with LiCl salt solution

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Fig. 7

Experimental and numerical small-scale LAMEE (a) sensible, (b) latent, and (c) total effectiveness for the H&D test conditions at NTU = 3 and variable Cr* with LiCl salt solution

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Fig. 8

Experimental and numerical small-scale LAMEE (a) sensible, (b) latent, and (c) total effectiveness for the H&H test conditions at NTU = 3 and variable Cr* with LiCl salt solution

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Fig. 9

Experimental air and solution inlet and outlet conditions comparison between the different salt solution types (LiCl and MgCl2) and concentrations for the C&D test conditions at NTU = 3 and Cr* = 5

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Fig. 10

Experimental LAMEE (a) sensible, (b) latent, and (c) total effectiveness comparison between the different salt solution types and concentrations for the C&D test conditions at NTU = 3 and variable Cr*

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