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Modeling the transient behavior of a run-around heat and moisture exchanger system



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In this thesis, a numerical model for coupled heat and moisture transfer in a run around membrane energy exchanger (RAMEE) with a liquid desiccant as a coupling fluid is developed. The numerical model is two dimensional, transient and is formulated using the finite difference method with an implicit time discretization. The model for the case of only heat transfer for a single heat exchanger is compared to an available analytical solution and good agreement is obtained. It is shown that the discrepancy between the numerical and theoretical dimensionless bulk outlet temperature of the fluids is less than 4% during the transient period. The model is also validated for the case of simultaneous heat and moisture transfer using experimental data measured during the laboratory testing of a RAMEE system. The results for both sensible and latent effectiveness showed satisfactory agreement at different operating conditions. However, there are some discrepancies between the simulation and the experimental data during the transient times. It is proposed that these discrepancies may be due to experimental flow distribution problems within the exchanger. The maximum average absolute differences between the measured and simulated transient effectivenesses were 7.5% and 10.3% for summer and winter operating conditions, respectively. The transient response of the RAMEE system for step changes in the inlet supply air temperature and humidity ratio is presented using the numerical model. In addition, the system quasi steady state operating conditions are predicted as the system approaches its steady state operating condition. The effect of various dimensionless parameters on the transient response is predicted separately. These included: the number of heat transfer units, thermal capacity ratio, heat loss/gain ratio, storage volume ratio and the normalized initial salt solution concentration. It is shown that the initial salt solution concentration and the storage volume of the salt solution have significant impacts on the transient response of the system and the heat loss/gain rates from/to the circulated fluid flow can change the system quasi steady effectiveness substantially. The detailed study of the transient performance of the RAMEE is useful to determine the transient response time of the system under different practical situations.



Run-around Heat and Moisture Exchanger, Numerical Model, Permeable Membrane, Salt Solution



Master of Science (M.Sc.)


Mechanical Engineering


Mechanical Engineering


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