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Technical Bulletin 3

Dehumidification and the Psychrometric Chart


I
NTRODUCTION

R ELATIVE HUMIDITY
Relative humidity is a misapplied term. It is often used in place of absolute humidity. The key is the word relative. To understand this concept, a law of nature must be Reviewed. Air is a compressible fluid and its volume is represented by the following equation:

The psychrometric chart has been well documented in a wide variety of technical textbooks and journals. This technical bulletin will not attempt to cover the chart in detail, but, will highlight those features of the chart which apply to refrigerant type dehumidification applications. It will define the terms which form the nucleus of properly applying a dehumidifier.

v = K(T/P)

HE CHART

Dry Bulb Temperatures

30

100

26

RH

We
RH

27

25

60

tB

28

90

ulb

24

60

Te

16

Figure 1
15
12

S
45

at

a 0 u5r

ti o

18

55 Cu

rv

22

e
la Re

ti v

Hu

id

it

mp

80

0%

era

tur

es

70

21

% 40

RH

17

19

20

60

30

RH

50

14

40
40
20% RH

11

10

12

13

35

30

30
25
H 10% R

20

Dew Point Temperatures


10 0 20 25 30 35 40 12.5 CU. FT. 45 50 55 60 13.0 CU. FT. 65 70 75 80 85 90 95 100 105

DRY BULB F

13.5 CU. FT.

14.0 CU. FT.

GRAINS OF MOISTURE PER POUND OF DRY AIR

31

80 %

Figure 1 shows a typical psychrometric chart. Dry Bulb temperatures are shown on the chart as vertical lines. The horizontal lines represent Dew Point temperatures. Lines representing Wet Bulb temperatures are the straight diagonal lines sloping downward from left to right. The curve forming the top edge of the chart is called the saturation curve. Air in a condition that falls on any point along this curve is totally saturated with moisture. Any additional moisture added could not be absorbed and would remain in a liquid state as condensation. The sweeping curved lines that follow the saturation curve are relative humidity lines expressed as percentages. These lines represent the degree of volume displaced by moisture with respect to the total air volume.
29

49

V = Volume T = Temperature P = Pressure K = Constant


48 46 47 45

14.5 CU. FT. 85 90 95 100 105

180

170

43

44

B)

160

TU

41

/L

42

80

(B

150

TIO RA

39

40

140

TU SA

38

AT

37

75

130

PY TH AL
35

36

EN

120

34

33

70

90

RH

32

110

RH

65

23

70

RH

As the air temperature increases, its total volume increases and decreases on reduction of temperature. Pressure has the opposite effect. As pressure increases volume decreases. Water, however, is not compressible. Therefore given a specific amount, it will always occupy the same amount of volume. Figure 2 illustrates how this applies to the psychrometric chart. As moisture laden air is heated or cooled the air volume changes but the moisture does not. Thus there is a change in relative humidity, without a change in actual water content.

This is important to understand because water damage occurs at an absolute humidity concentration regardless of its relative humidity. This is known as the constant Dew Point Temperature.

S ENSIBLE AND LATENT HEATING AND COOLING


There are four types of energy changes when heat of moisture is added or removed. Sensible heat occurs when heat is added without the addition or reduction of moisture. Sensible cooling is the reverse. Latent heat, also known as humidification, is the addition of moisture without changing the dry bulb temperature. Latent cooling or dehumidification is the removal of moisture. Figure 3 shows how these are displayed on the chart.

49

14.5 CU. FT. 85 90 95 100 105

70F

46

78F

47

92F
45

48

180

170

43

44

B)

160

TU

41

/L

42

80

(B

150

TIO RA

TU

AT

37

40% RH
TH AL EN

SA

38

80% RH

39

40

75

60% RH

140

130

PY
35

36

120

34

33

70

RH

80

60 %

90

30

100
% RH

88 GR.
90
RH 60

25

70F
60

78F
RH

92F
80

Figure 2
21 18 17 20 19

% 50

22

55
% 40

RH

40

70

60

50
30 % RH

16

50

15

45

12

14

40
40
20% RH

11

10

12

13

35

30

30
25
H 10% R

20

10

0 20 25 30 35 40 12.5 CU. FT. 45 50 55 60 13.0 CU. FT. 65 70 75 80 85 90 95 100 105

DRY BULB F

13.5 CU. FT.

14.0 CU. FT.

GRAINS OF MOISTURE PER POUND OF DRY AIR

32

110

31

29

65

80 %
70

26

28

RH

23

24

27

TECHNICAL BULLETIN 3

Dehumidification and the Psychrometric Chart


Rarely will these occur as shown but will rather be a mixture of them. A refrigerant dehumidification system is a combination of sensible and latent cooling and sensible heating. First the system cools the air to reduce the dry bulb temperature to the dew point. Then latent cooling reduces the absolute humidity and finally the air is reheated increasing its dry bulb temperature. Figure 4 graphs this process. By obtaining the starting and finishing grains per pound, the amount of moisture to be removed can be calculated. The amount of moisture to be removed is the difference between these two values known as GR. Figure 5 shows how a dehumidification system was sized. The ambient design was 91F dry bulb and 78F wet bulb. The desired indoor value was 80F dry bulb and 50% relative humidity. The outside ambient has a moisture content of 124 grains and the indoor design has 78 grains. Thus the required moisture removal rate is 124-78 = 46 grains per pound of dry air.

D EHUMIDIFIER SIZING
To properly apply a dehumidification system, the amount of moisture to be removed must be calculated. For most applications the only information available is the dry bulb and relative humidity or dry bulb and wet bulb temperatures. The psychrometric chart is used to plot these two values by finding their intersection and then following the horizontal line to the right to determine the moisture content in grains per pound.

49

14.5 CU. FT. 85 90 95 100 105

48

46

47

180

43

44

45

170

B)

160

TU

41

/L

42

80

(B

150

TU

Figure 3
AT

TIO RA

39

40

140

SA

38

37

C
130 120

30

100

26

28

90
RH 60

25

27

D
80
RH

% 50

22

70
55
% 40 RH

17

20

60

50
30 % RH

16

50

15

45

12

14

40
40
20% RH

11

10

12

13

35

30

30
25
H 10% R

20

10

0 20 25 30 35 40 12.5 CU. FT. 45 50 55 60 13.0 CU. FT. 65 70 75 80 85 90 95 100 105

DRY BULB F

13.5 CU. FT.

14.0 CU. FT.

GRAINS OF MOISTURE PER POUND OF DRY AIR

80 %

A. B. C. D.

Sensible Heating Sensible Cooling Humidification Dehumidification


29

PY

TH

AL

EN

34

35

36

70

90

75

A
110

32

33

31

RH

RH
70 % RH

65

24

18

19

21

23

60

48

Figure 4
46 47

49

14.5 CU. FT. 85 90 95 100 105

180

80

A
RH

Entering Air
100

GRAINS OF MOISTURE PER POUND OF DRY AIR GRAINS OF MOISTURE PER POUND OF DRY AIR

QT QS QL WA WB T GR

30

= = = = = = =

Total Cooling A-B Sensible Cooling C-B Latent Cooling A-C Specific Humidity A (room air) Specific Humidity C (supply air) Total Temperature Rise B-D WA-WB

43

44

45

170

B)

160

TU

41

/L

42

80

(B

150

AT

IO
39

40

UR

140
75

AT

37

SA T

38

130

PY

QL

TH

AL
35

36

EN

120

34

33

70

90

RH

QT

32

110
RH %

WA

31

QS

70 %

29

65

26

28

90
60 % RH

25

27

24

80

GR

60

23

50

RH

22

70
55
40 % RH

D
60

18

20

21

50

19

B
Leaving Evaporator Coil
30 % RH

16

Reheated Air (Supply)

17

WB

50

15

45

12

14

40
40
20% RH

11

10

12

13

35

30

30
25
10% RH

20

10

0 20 25 30 35 40 12.5 CU. FT. 45 50 55 60 13.0 CU. FT. 65 70 75 80 85 90 95 100 105

DRY BULB F

13.5 CU. FT.

14.0 CU. FT.

49

14.5 CU. FT. 85 90 95 100 105

48

Figure 5
43 44

46

47

180

45

170

B)

160

SA

AT

37

75

LBS/HR = 4.5 x CFM x GR 7000


PY

TU

41

/L

42

80

(B

150

TIO RA

39

40

140

TU

38

130

25

4.5 CFM GR 7000

= = = =

Constant Total Air Volume WA-WB 7000 GR/LB Air


24 23 22 21 18 20

TH

AL

91F DB/78F WB
120

WA

EN

34

35

36

33

70

90

RH

32

110
RH %

30

100
70 %

GR

31

80

29

65

RH

26

28

90
60 % RH

27

50

50 H

%
80F DB

80

60

WB

70
55
40 % RH

60

17

50
3 0% RH

16

19

50

15

45

12

14

40
40
20% RH

11

10

12

13

35

30

30
25
10% RH

20

10

0 20 25 30 35 40 12.5 CU. FT. 45 50 55 60 13.0 CU. FT. 65 70 75 80 85 90 95 100 105

DRY BULB F

13.5 CU. FT.

14.0 CU. FT.

8300 West Sleske Court Milwaukee, WI 53223 (414) 357-7400 FAX: (414) 357-8501
103 09/97