Use of Unglazed Transpired Solar Collectors for Desiccant Cooling

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The use of unglazed transpired solar collectors for desiccant regeneration in a solid desiccant cooling cycle was investigated because these collectors are less expensive than conventional glazed flat-plate collectors. Using computer models, we studied the performance of a desiccant cooling ventilation cycle integrated with either unglazed transpired collectors or conventional glazed flat-plate collectors. We found that the thermal coefficient of performance of the cooling system with unglazed collectors was lower than that of the cooling system with glazed collectors because the former system did not use the heat of adsorption released during the dehumidification process. Although the area required for the unglazed collector array was 70% more than that required for the glazed collector array in a 10.56 kW (3 ton) solar cooling system, the cost of the unglazed array was 45% less than the cost of the glazed array. The simple payback period of the unglazed collector was half of the payback period of the glazed collector when replacing an equivalent gas-fired air heater. Although the use of unglazed transpired collectors seems to make economic sense relative to use of glazed conventional collectors, some practical considerations may limit their use for desiccant regeneration.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)419-427
Number of pages9
JournalSolar Energy
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1994

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-472-5868


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