Energy performance of solar-assisted liquid desiccant air-conditioning system for commercial building in main climate zones

Ronghui Qi, Lin Lu, Yu Huang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

69 Citations (Scopus)


Liquid desiccant air-conditioning (LDAC) system, which consists of a liquid desiccant ventilation system for dehumidification and an air-handling unit for cooling, has become a promising alternative for conventional technology. To evaluate its feasibility and applicability, the simulation of solar-assisted LDAC (SLDAC) in commercial buildings in five cities of four main climate regions were conducted, including Singapore in Tropical, Houston and Beijing in Temperate, Boulder in Arid and Los Angeles in Mediterranean. Results showed that the system's performance was seriously affected by the ratios of building's sensible and latent cooling load. For buildings located in humid areas with low sensible-total heat ratio (SHR), the electricity energy reduction of SLDAC was high, about 450 MW h in Houston and Singapore, which accounted for 40% of the total energy consumption in cooling seasons. The cost payback period was as short as approximately 7 years. The main reason is that the energy required for handling the moisture could be saved by liquid desiccant dehumidification, and the regeneration heat could be covered by solar collectors. For buildings in dry climate with high SHR, the total cooling load was low, but up to 45% electricity of AC system could be saved in Boulder because the chiller COP could be significantly improved during more than 70% operation time. The cost payback period was around 22 years, which was acceptable. However, for the buildings with mild SHR, such as those in Beijing and Los Angeles, the application of SLDAC was not that suitable, in which the electricity energy saved only around 100 MW h and the cost payback period was more than 30 years. The minimum installation area of solar collector should also be fulfilled, or the system would even consume more energy than the conventional ones. It can be concluded that the SLDAC performed best in humid areas and worst in locations with the mild outdoor humidity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)749-757
Number of pages9
JournalEnergy Conversion and Management
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014


  • Climate region
  • Energy consumption
  • Liquid desiccant air-conditioning system
  • Operation performance
  • Solar energy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology


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