Keywords: minimum work contours, psychrometric chart, air conditioning, exergy, power estimation, dehumidification, energy consumption
Power estimation for air cooling and dehumidification using exergy analysis
This paper presents a theoretical analysis based on the second law of thermodynamics to estimate the minimum work required for air cooling and dehumidification. Isothermal dehumidification and sensible cooling processes can be combined to give an equivalent path capable of representing the conventional air conditioning process in hot and humid climates. Dehumidification is analysed as a separation process of an ideal mixture of air and water vapour. In this paper, contours of minimum work required for air cooling and dehumidification are plotted on a psychrometric chart and presented as a handy design tool. The effect of small variations in the final conditions on the minimum required work shows that tolerating a warmer or more humid final condition can be an easy solution to reduce energy consumption during critical load periods.