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May 11, 2020

Understanding DEVap: Why it Could be the Future of Air Conditioning

Summer months are ahead and your customers are going to begin turning on their A/C units. During these months electricity bills rise as people try to keep their homes at a reasonable temperature. There are many innovative ways to keep air conditioning consumption down during these times. 

An emerging method is DEVap (Desiccant-Enhanced eVaporative) air conditioning. Founded in the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, DEVap, uses technology that removes the use of environmentally harmful coolant chemicals while reducing energy costs.

How DEVap Works

DEVap uses desiccant in liquid form and an evaporative cooler together to cool a room. If you’re not familiar with desiccant, it’s the drying agent in those “DO NOT EAT” packets. The kind DEVap uses is a syrupy liquid which has a high affinity for water vapour.

An evaporative cooler cools air through the evaporation of water. As water absorbs a large amount of heat in order to evaporate, the temperature of dry air can be dropped significantly. Air passes through the liquid desiccant, removing humidity from the air. The air then flows through the evaporative cooler, expelling dry and cool air into the room

DEVap Benefits

The biggest benefit to DEVap is the cost savings. It’s estimated savings are anywhere between 40 and 80 percent compared to a regular A/C unit. A traditional A/C unit consumes a lot of energy during the refrigeration cycle, DEVap doesn’t. Instead, DEVap uses an absorption cycle to cool air that can be powered by natural gas or solar energy.

DEVap technology also has great benefits to the environment as it uses salt solutions, removing the need for refrigerants. These coolant chemicals used in A/C units have been tied to the thinning of the ozone layer because of how much carbon dioxide they produce. 

The Future for DEVap

While DEVap isn’t widespread, it’s starting to gain popularity within the HVAC industry. With it’s eco-friendly benefits and cost savings, it’s easy to see why. DEVap is currently only used in commercial spaces but we can expect companies are working on a more compact system for residential use.

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