Academics > Undergraduate Degree Programs > College of Engineering > COE Department > Mechanical Engineering > Senior Design Projects List > Design and Manufacturing of desiccant disk for use in dehumidifiers and air conditioners
Design and Manufacturing of desiccant disk for use in dehumidifiers and air conditioners

Project Overview

The majority of the energy consumed in a household is directed to heating and air conditioning. With increasing fuel prices and environmental concerns, renewable energy technologies are developing. However, the focus of these technologies is the production of electricity. Using the electricity produced by renewable sources for heating and air conditioning creates inefficiency if the renewable source can be directly used for the purpose of heating and air conditioning. It is well known that the highest load on the electricity generation system is imposed by air conditioners during the warm season. Typically, the sun irradiance experiences a maximum during the warm season. There are several methods to harvest the solar energy for refrigeration purposes. Since the 1990s, adsorption technology is used in dehumidification. The disadvantages of liquid–vapor adsorption systems are overcome by using solid–vapor cycles. For this project, we Improved and tested an old desiccant disk project. In particular, we added a few more thermocouples, installed fan anemometers for measuring air velocity, and installed more humidity and temperature sensors to get more accurate results and data. We also designed and manufactured two types of evaporative cooler (which are direct, and indirect evaporative coolers) we test each one of them, then we compare the results, which we got, and finally we chose the best, and the more efficient one to improve our project. In addition, we replace the AC fans which was used in the previse project with DC fans, so we will get full power of them by supplying their power from solar panels. In addition to that, we made an inspection hatch to get an easy way to fill and replace the silica inside the disk, without causing an issue to the whole system.

Project Objectives

The main objectives that we are looking for in this project are:
  • Improve the instrumentation and data acquisition (newer and more thermocouples, installed fan anemometers, installed more RH sensors).
  • Design and build a direct and an indirect evaporative cooler. Test and compare the results from the two coolers
  • Replace AC fans with array of DC fans that can be powered by solar panels.
  • Create inspection hatch and close leaks in the desiccant disk.
  • Test the system and acquire new data.