AILR's liquid-desiccant air conditioners (LDAC) address the critical problem of maintaining indoor humidity at comfortable and healthy levels. They also are an energy efficient source of low dewpoint air.
Our LDACs are an attractive approach to humidity control in applications that require large amounts of outdoor air for ventilation in humid climates. This would included laboratories, health care facilities, athletic facilities, theaters and other buildings with high occupancy. In many of these applications, the only practical approach to controlling indoor humidity is to over cool the supply air to condense moisture and then reheat the supply air so that zones are kept at comfortable temperatures. This overcooling/reheat can increase cooling loads by 30% or more. The LDAC would eliminate the need to overcool in most applications.
The LDAC can also supply air at dewpoints much lower than would be practical with conventional vapor-compression air conditioners. Supermarkets are an important application that would benefit from the LDAC's low dewpoint air. Several sources, including Southern California Edison's Refrigeration and Thermal Test Center, have independently demonstrated demand reductions of 20% or more for supermarket refrigeration systems when indoor humidity is reduced from 50% to 35% rh.
The LDAC is one of the more practical approaches to converting relatively low temperature heat (i.e., between 160 F and 210 F) into cooling. A solar LDAC operating on hot water provided by an array of solar thermal collectors will be a much more cost-effective approach to solar cooling than either a PV array driving a compressor-based air conditioner or a solar thermal array driving an absorption chiller. The LDAC can also add a cooling function to CHP applications.
Water parks, natatoriums, and swimming pools are all interesting application for LDACs. Humidity control for indoor pools is challenging. The evaporation from the pool creates a very large latent load, which if not properly served will lead to problems ranging from unhealthy air to major property damage. The evaporation also cools the pool which then must be heated, often at the additional expense of running a separate water heater. In pool applications, pool water can be used to cool the LDAC's conditioner so that the pool is heated as the indoor space is dehumidified.