The objective of the proposed research is to investigate a novel air conditioning system based on desiccant technology. The proposed system will use needle-impeller rotors, instead of conventional desiccant wheels, to increase heat and mass transfer in the absorber and evaporator units and reduce manufacturing cost. A novel heat recovery unit based on heat pipe technology and a novel absorbent will be employed to enhance the performance of the system.
The research programme will involve computer modelling of the system, testing a small-scale rig and design, construction and testing of a prototype system. The consortium is highly complementary and multi-disciplinary as a result of its combination of the efforts of the manufacturing companies (Isoterix Ltd, Green Refrigeration Ltd, EFACEC Ambiente, S.A.) building services companies (Sulzer Infra Ltd, Beacon Energy Limited), and the research expertise of the universities (University of Nottingham, Helsinki University of Technology, University of Oporto). The partners are drawn from four European Countries; i.e. UK, Italy, Portugal and Switzerland. The proposed system will be further developed into a commercial product by the industrial partners if the research and development project indicates the system to be viable.
The proposed research will benefit several industries including air-conditioning and refrigeration, chemical, manufacturing and building services. The market potential for the proposed system within the EU is expected to be substantial and a large demand for this type of product in the U.S.A. Middle East, Far East and Africa is also predicted.
This would of course be important for EU exports and increasing the world market share for EU industry. The system is expected to find a substantial market in the Mediterranean region of the EU and as it could be manufactured locally, would provide a boost to the economy of this relatively less developed area. The environment will obviously benefit as the system could be driven by waste heat, solar or hybrid sources (e.g. gas/solar, waste heat/electricity), and use an "environmentally-friendly" retrigerant such as water.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
LE12 9YE Loughborough
NE71 6SL Wooler