22 May 2002

A4-06 Heat Pump Dehumidifier Drying Technology- Status, Potential And Prospects

Dehumidifier drying is an enabling technology with unique potential benefits for drying high-quality temperature-sensitive products. Yet dehumidifier technology remains a niche player in the drying industry. The drying capacity of annual global sales is less than 0.5% of estimated global dried timber production, and dehumidifier drying of other products is largely limited to situations where the process offers special benefits. Compared with conventional dryers, many potential users view dehumidifier technology as fragile, slow and high capital cost on a per unit capacity basis.
While dehumidifier drying is unlikely to supplant conventional drying processes, research has demonstrated that it has the potential for significant growth. For such expansion, the industry needs to adopt a more integrated approach to dehumidifier technologies, taking into account the potential of: unique drying environments for new products and added value, high system efficiency and reliability, low environmental impact, and ease of use. To secure these benefits for their users the dehumidifier industry should promote good practices in dehumidifier applications, such as standard methods for rating capacity and efficiency, accepted performance benchmarks, and recommended drying Schedules.