Requirements for silica gel desiccant beds used in the “Solar-Desiccant-Evaporative Cooling System” are discussed and the advantages of laminar flow packings demonstrated. An analysis of transient heat and mass transfer in laminar flow silica gel desiccant beds is presented, together with a description of an associated computer code for the solution of the governing partial differential equations. Based on results of calculations using the code, a preliminary design of a prototype scale desiccant bed is developed for a coated sheet packing concept. Results are presented for code calculations used to determine an optimum gel particle size and to explore the effect of substrate thermal capacity on cyclic performance.

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