Controlling Humidity Inspires Technology
February 16, 2009
CHICAGO - The humidity level at the 2009 International Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition (AHR Expo) was uncomfortably low, but the amount of new humidification and dehumidification products made up for the conditions. From new humidity controls to enhanced technology processes, manufacturers of humidity products proved they were there to provide comfort.
Aprilaire (www.aprilaire.com) featured a new automatic humidifier control. This humidistat is a digital control panel that informs homeowners of pertinent information about the current humidity level in the home as well as provides indicator lights showing that the humidifier is operational and running. Other lights alert homeowners when it is time to change the water panel or call a dealer for service. The backlit screen on the unit provides the current level of humidity in the home as well. The humidistat can also be used in manual control for the occasions where automatic control may not be practical.
The company also revealed an adaptation of its central dehumidifiers. Model 1710 is now available in a portable option for use in extreme moisture removal situations, especially following floods, storms, and other disasters. The wheel-mounted unit removes 150 pints per day, requires 14 amps of electricity, and is guaranteed for five years.
Carel (www.carelusa.com) displayed the humiSteam Xplus-UEX humidifier. These humidifiers are modulating and have a built-in controller with graphic display and keypad for programming and controlling operation. The steam flow rate is modulated continuously from 20-100 percent of maximum capacity, except for in on/off mode. There are four other modes available for operation, including proportional based on an external signal and proportional based on an external signal plus a probe to limit the maximum humidity in the duct. The humidity control connects via various types of LAN, features alarm log management, and definitions of daily and weekly time bands. Remote diagnostics via global system for mobile communications (GSM) is available.
Munters (www.munters.us) showed its DryCool ERV product that combines the benefits of desiccant dehumidification with total energy recovery. The unit supplies 100 percent make-up air utilizing energy recovery from the exhaust airstream. The desiccant dehumidification process eliminates the overcool reheat process, allowing the cooling coil to operate at higher temperatures, helping to increase refrigeration efficiency and eliminate coil freezing concerns. According to the company, the addition of enthalpy energy recovery to this dehumidification system provides for reduced heating and cooling requirements in the treatment of the delivered outside air. Standard features include R-410A refrigerant, a CoGel desiccant wheel, molecular sieve enthalpy wheel, scroll compressors, galvalume foam injected double-wall construction, supply and exhaust fans, and a humidistat control.
Nortec Industry (www.humidity.com) highlighted the MH Series™ - an evaporative humidifier/cooler. The core of the MH unit is its patented V-profile humidifier box located in the air duct. It consists of synthetic media with an impressed V-profile. Dry air flows through the box, water flows over the hygroscopic media, and the large wet surface releases humidity into the air with limited electrical energy. The series is available in two basic versions. The Flow model has direct water drainage and the Reflow model contains a circulation pump that conveys the water to the spray beam located above the humidifier box. Water not needed for humidification flows back into the water basin where it is collected and recirculated.
NovelAire Technologies (www.novelaire.com) presented its ComfortDry™ 250 desiccant-based dehumidifier. Driven with hot water, any available hot-water source can be used to provide the heat necessary to reactivate the internal desiccant wheel, including tankless or hybrid type heaters, solar collectors, or a combination of both. The unit offers independent control of humidity allowing the set point temperature of a space to be raised without sacrificing comfort. It helps prevent mold, mildew, and dust mite growth by maintaining 50 percent rh and doesn’t require any condensing lines or collecting devices. Comfort Wheel™ technology was specifically designed to maximize moisture removal and increase efficiency. Installed as a stand alone or ducted into the existing system, the unit is typically sized up to 3,000 square feet and removes approximately 105 pints per day.
Seresco (www.seresco.net) released the NE-001 dehumidifier. The unit uses 110/120 vac, offers a built-in touchscreen thermostat, and has an optional remote for ducted versions. Designed for quiet operation, the NE-001 can also operate as a stand alone. The company offers a heavy-duty base and wheels for industrial applications and more aesthetically pleasing castors for the residential model. The dehumidifier incorporates an aluminum plate heat exchanger that pre-cools the air entering the evaporator. According to the company, this results in a larger amount of moisture removal being achieved for the same amount of compressor power. It can also heat indoor pools or spas for free and provide neutral air when connected to a water source.
Viconics Electronics Inc. (www.viconics.com) launched the completely redesigned family of communicating and non-communicating humidity controllers - the VH7200 Humidistat Series. This series controls commercial humidification and dehumidification equipment within accuracies of ±3 percent. All controls feature a large backlit 2x8 character digital display, digital service inputs for local equipment monitoring, outdoor reset capability, remote humidity monitoring capability, and a real-text, menu-driven onboard configuration utility. Networked enabled models use BACnet MS/TP, LonTalk, and Wireless ZigBee communication interfaces. Other features include an internal rh sensor, sensor failure protection, humidity set point limitation, and lockable input.
Publication date: 02/16/2009