Solid desiccant, Air conditioning, Open cycle, Agriculture, Storage
The study emphasizes on the use of desiccant air conditioning (DAC) system for the storage of agricultural products. The chilling sensitivity of the tropical fruits and vegetables makes this system more promising for their optimal storage. The desiccant air conditioning system assisted by Maisotsenko cycle evaporative cooler is proposed in the study to achieve the latent and sensible load of air conditioning. In this regard, the dehumidification evaluation of the honeycomb like polymer based hydrophilic desiccant blocks are carried out by the means of an open-cycle experimental unit. The representative ideal storage zones of three temperature and relative humidity compatible groups of fruits and vegetables are established on the psychrometric chart on the basis of published data. The ideal DAC cycle analysis is accomplished at low regeneration temperature (55Â°C) for case-I (T = 31Â°C; RH = 21%) and case-II (T = 13Â°C; RH = 70%). The dehumidification analysis of the desiccant blocks recommended the time ratio between regeneration and dehumidification modes as 1:1 and 2:3 for the case-I and case-II respectively. The suggested time ratios ensure the dehumidification of the process air up to 2 g/kg of dry air and 4 g/kg of dry air in case-I and case-II respectively. The COP of the system was calculated as 0.90-0.43 and 0.55-0.25 at 30-90 minutes dehumidification with regeneration heat supplies of 1.7-2.3 kW and 2.5-3.5 kW in case-I and case-II respectively. The promising dehumidification by the desiccant blocks resulted in achieving the latent load itself followed by flat plate heat exchanger and Maisotsenko cycle evaporative cooler to achieve the sensible load. However, in case of high sensible loads hybrid DAC system is being recommended in this study.