Thermal energy exploited from solar heater panels has been recently assisted in a desiccant wheel air conditioning demonstration project in Kish Island, Persian Gulf, Iran. “This demonstration unit was completed in late 2008 and successfully tested afterwards” said Pejman Izadkhast, M.E., the project manager, “simple solar water heating panels by total surface of 48m2 were utilized to supply required heat for solid desiccant regeneration. The hot water moves through a water-to-air heat exchanger and supplies the hot air stream for desiccant regeneration”. Interior air conditioning in very humid climate Kish Island located in southern Iran is a subject of great interest because the large number of inhabitants and passengers in this outstanding tourism spot creates a high energy demand for air conditioning which in turn imposes a great load to the independent power grid in the island. The long sunny hours in Kish Island (about 3100 hours per year) makes it attractive for exploitation of solar energy.
This project was implemented in order to evaluate the performance of solar thermal assisted solid desiccant air drying system in practical conditions of Kish Island’s environment and its influence on energy saving. The nominal capacity of this demonstration unit is 5RT (60,000Btu/hr or 17.58kW) and employs primary heat exchanger, air humidifier, rotary desiccant wheel, regenerative heat exchanger, hot water tank, water pump, solar collectors, secondary heat exchanger, evaporator, condenser, supply fan and regeneration fan.