Three-fluids membrane contactor
The invention regards a new component (3F-CMC) provided with semipermeable hydrophobic membrane avoiding a direct contact between air and liquid desiccant, but allowing both sensible and latent heat transfer. The desiccant temperature is controlled by the third fluid (refrigerant) evaporating or condensing inside U-shaped and corrosion resistant mini-tubes.
The invention refers to an innovative component, i.e. a membrane contactor (3F-CMC) designed to be crossed by three fluids, namely air, liquid desiccant and refrigerant. The airflow is transversal to both the desiccant flow (for instance, an aqueous LiCl solution) and the refrigerant flow. The microporous hydrophobic membrane separates the process air from the liquid desiccant. The membrane being permeable only to the vapour phase allows both sensible and latent heat exchanges between these phases avoiding any direct contact between them. The desiccant temperature is controlled by the third fluid (refrigerant) evaporating or condensing inside U-shaped copper mini-tubes that are plastic coated to become corrosion resistant. 3F-CMC components have been successfully adopted in the framework of the EU project H2020 “XERIC –Innovative Climate-Control System to Extend Range of Electric Vehicles and Improve Comfort”.
- Usable for air conditioning and air dehumidification;
- Usable in mobile applications to improve vehicles’ energy efficiency, particularly for electric battery ones to improve their range;
- Usable in civil and industrial air handling.
- Useful in hybrid systems to reduce the energy required for air conditioning;
- Useful in mobile AC applications thanks to 3F-CMC compactness scalability and low-cost;
- Useful to increase range of battery electric vehicles.