An intriguing air-conditioning process that dries incoming hot, humid air using a desiccant and then cools the air using evaporative cooling is being refined by NREL:
The U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory has invented a new air conditioning process with the potential of using 50 percent to 90 percent less energy than today’s top-of-the-line units. It uses membranes, evaporative cooling and liquid desiccants in a way that has never been done before in the centuries-old science of removing heat from the air.
“The idea is to revolutionize cooling, while removing millions of metric tons of carbon from the air,” NREL mechanical engineer Eric Kozubal, co-inventor of the Desiccant-Enhanced eVaporative air conditioner (DEVap), said.
“We’d been working with membranes, evaporative coolers and desiccants. We saw an opportunity to combine them into a single device for a product with unique capabilities.”