Title page for ETD etd-32298-8531

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Staton, JoAnna Christen II
Author's Email Address jcstaton@vt.edu
URN etd-32298-8531
Title Heat and Mass Transfer Characteristics of Desiccant Polymers
Degree Master of Science
Department Mechanical Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Kander, Ronald C.
Thomas, James R. Jr.
Scott, Elaine P. Committee Chair
  • desiccants
  • polymers
  • total enthalpy exchangers
Date of Defense 1998-04-16
Availability unrestricted
Desiccant-enhanced air conditioning equipment

has exhibited both the capability to improve humidity control and the

potential to save energy costs by lowering the latent energy

requirement of the supply air stream. The resulting increasing

popularity of desiccant-enhanced air conditioning systems has sparked

new interest in the search for a better, more efficient desiccant

material. The ultimate goal of this research was to develop a

material that, when applied to an existing air-to-air heat exchanger,

would achieve the necessary heat and mass transfer in a single

process, thus transforming a sensible heat exchanger into a

total enthalpy exchanger.

This study focuses on the development and determination of appropriate

polymeric desiccant materials for use in different heat and mass

transfer applications. Various candidate materials were initially

studied. It was decided that polyvinyl alcohol best met the

pre-determined selection criteria. After the focus material was

chosen, numerical models representing two heat and mass transfer

applications were created. One-dimensional numerical models were

developed for the performance studies of a rotary wheel total enthalpy

exchanger. A two-dimensional numerical model was developed for

the performance studies of a fixed plate total enthalpy exchanger as

well. Material characterization tests were performed to collect

material property information required by the numerical models.

Sensible, latent, and total efficiencies gathered from both the rotary

wheel total enthalpy exchanger and the fixed plate total enthalpy

exchanger models indicate potential uses for some candidate polyvinyl

alcohol materials.

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