Modeling of rotary desiccant wheels

Yogesh M. Harshe*, Ranjeet P. Utikar, Vivek V. Ranade, Deepak Pahwa

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


Rotary desiccant wheels are widely used in dehumidification and energy recovery applications. In this work, we have developed a 2D, steady state model of a rotary desiccant wheel. Mass and energy balance equations for the air streams and the desiccant wheels were developed. The hydraulic diameter and surface area for heat and mass transfer were calculated based on knowledge of the flute geometry. Appropriate correlations for the Sherwood number and Nusselt number were used to estimate heat and mass transfer coefficients. The model is capable of predicting steady state behavior of desiccant wheels having at the most three sections (process, purge, and regeneration). The mathematical model was validated using a real desiccant wheel, and the calculation results are in reasonable agreement with the experimental data. Based on this model, the temperature and humidity profiles in the wheel during both the dehumidification and the regeneration processes are analyzed. The simulated results were used to gain an insight into the operation of desiccant wheels. The model and the presented results will be useful for optimizing dehumidification and energy recovery applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1473-1479
Number of pages7
JournalChemical Engineering and Technology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Polymers and Plastics


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