POWDER SPRINGS, Ga. - DuCool has introduced dehumidification and cooling systems that it says can substantially improve the energy efficiency of cogeneration systems by utilizing their waste heat to provide cooling and dehumidification. DuCool’s systems combine desiccant dehumidification with evaporative or geothermal cooling to upgrade cogeneration systems to a trigeneration system. The company says this approach eliminates the need for conventional mechanical cooling and reduces the energy required for cooling by up to 90 percent.

According to the company, conventional combustion power generation systems convert only approximately 30 percent of consumed fuel into electricity. In centralized production systems another 7 percent on average is lost as the electricity is distributed from the power station to consumers. Distributed cogeneration systems increase energy efficiency to 80 percent by utilizing the waste heat released by the generation system for space heating. Since the power is produced locally, there are no transmission losses.

However, during a large part of the year, cooling rather than heating is needed so the advantages of cogeneration are lost and efficiency returns to the 30 percent level. DuCool’s systems provide high efficiency year round by utilizing waste heat for cooling and dehumidification. The emissions and carbon footprint attributed to the building are reduced by a roughly similar amount. Cool water for the cooling process can be taken from any convenient source such as a cooling tower, geothermal well, river, etc.

DuCool said it can retrofit existing cogeneration systems with dehumidification and cooling or provide a complete trigeneration system including all components. In addition to improving cogeneration systems, DuCool systems can utilize low-grade heat which can be found in abundance in many industrial manufacturing facilities to generate energy efficient cooling and dehumidification. For example, the waste heat of conventional chillers can be used to reduce operating costs of cooling systems by about 40 percent.

For more information, visit www.ducool.com.

Publication date: 04/06/2009