Innovation Spotlight: Liquid Desiccant Membrane-Based Independent Dehumidification System

January 27, 2013 06:54 PM EST By: Jennifer Rocha

Asia Pacific Clean Energy Summit Innovation Tracker: United Technologies Research Center (UTRC), a TechConnect Accelerator participant-Honolulu, HI, 2012

Traditional HVAC equipment overcools air to condense moisture and air is then often reheated for comfort. The proposed liquid desiccant membrane-based independent dehumidification system developed by UTRC allows traditional HVAC equipment to handle the cooling load more efficiently by operating it at elevated temperatures. Integration of this dehumidification system with a traditional HVAC system offers the potential to provide more than 30% savings in annual energy consumption for hot and humid climates globally. UTRC functions as the central research organization for United Technologies, which contains the premier HVAC company, Carrier Corp.

UTRC tells TechConnect News, “UTRC and Carrier have a long history of collaborating on the identification, development and demonstration of new HVAC&R technologies. For the independent dehumidification project, Carrier has provided feedback on the system and component design, commercial requirements, and customer value proposition.”

UTRC was selected to present at the 2012 Asia Pacific Clean Energy Summit in Honolulu, HI as part of the Defense Energy Technology Challenge.  The company tells TechConnect, “We benefited from the ability to directly interact with potential government customers. We had several on-site discussions with potential partners, and enjoyed the sessions on island-specific energy challenges.”

Since presenting its system at the conference, UTRC continues to progress toward demonstrating a 5-ton system prototype in the first quarter of 2013.  This will build upon the successful demonstration of a 2-ton proof-of-concept system (shown below) in the first half of 2012.  The technology development and demonstration was funded, in part, by ARPA-E.


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