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IN THIS PAGE WE HAVE INCLUDED THE HOW-TO IN SELECTING A

DEHUMIDIFIER.
1) SIZE SELECTION for SMALL DEHUMIDIFIER
2) CALCULATE HUMIDITY LOAD by ENGINEERING METHOD
3) SELECTION OF DEHUMIDIFIER AFTER KNOWING THE HUMIDITY LOAD
4) HOW CALCULATING HUMIDITY LOAD
We have chosen the usage of SI units for easy conversion. In calculating moisture load,
Absolute Humidity is the basis used and not Relative Humidity. Please also refer to the
Psychometric Chart for various values referenced. Absolute Humidity is measured in terms of
g/kg of air at 1.2 kg/cu. meter. That is, the weight of water molecules in a kg of dry air at the
density of 1.2 kg/cu.meter.
1) SIZE SELECTION OF SMALL DEHUMIDIFIER BY RULE OF THUMB METHOD.
Just for the interest of non-technical users, we will provide the rule of thumb sizing for
those who are interested mainly in the small portable units.
a) A 12 L/day unit is able to keep a 150 sq ft x 8 ft (14 sq meter x 2.4 m) space at 55% RH.
b) A 16 L/day unit is able to keep a 200 sq ft x 8 ft (19 sq meter x 2.4 m ) space at 55% RH.
55% RH is a general minimum requirement for most low level storage. For lower RH level like
45-50%
RH control, reduce the space by 30-35% by floor area. If one unit is too small, go for 2 units, or
use the 30-45 L/day
( Note: the above sizing is based on an unventilated room. Room with central air conditioning
or exhaust is generally difficult to estimate as the volume of Ventilation Air creates a very
high humidity load.
2) CALCULATING HUMIDITY LOAD BY ENGINEERING METHOD
For a more ACCURATE selection, we have the following:
In this exercise, we have included the 3 biggest factors that contribute to the humidity load.
There are a lot more other factors that contribute to the moisture load but they may need some
expertise to understand and calculate. A more stringent formula is needed for low humidity
application below 40% RH or low temperature (below 15 deg C ). This is done only by trained
engineers. Total load will be sum of all the 3 following factors.

There are 3 main factors are:


1) INFILTRATION
2) HUMAN LOAD
3) VENTILATION

1) INFILTRATION is the average air that can come in through the walls and cracks. It is
directly proportional to the difference between the indoor and outdoor Humidity, and the
size of the space. Stringently, it is proportional to the areas of the 4 walls plus ceiling and
floor. But to simplify the formula, total space volume is used instead, with an additional Kfactor in the attached tables.

INFILTRATION LOAD (L/hour) = (H out - H in ) x 0.0012 x


Space Volume x K-factor
H out is the Absolute Humidity in g/kg of the surrounding or outdoor air.
H in is the Absolute Humidity in g/kg of the space to be dried.
0.0012 is the density of air.
Space Volume is the volume of the space, height x width x length in cubit meter.
K-factor is the factor that converts the volume into surface area of exposure.
K-factor table
SPACE LESS THAN
80 CUBIT METER
200 CUBIT METER
400 CUBIT METER
600 CUBIT METER
1000 CUBIT METER
2000 CUBIT METER
3000 CUBIT METER
4000 CUBIT METER
5000 CUBIT METER

K-Factor
0,5
0,4
0,35
0,3
0,27
0,23
0,21
0,19
0,18

Example : A space of 20 x 10 x 10 meter space. Outdoor 30 deg C 70% RH. Required condition
is 23 deg C 50% RH. Calculate the infiltration load.
The first step is to convert the condition to absolute humidity in g/kg.
Outdoor 30 deg C 70% RH = 18.5 g/kg (Absolute Humidity)
Space 23 deg C 50% RH = 8.6 g/kg (Absolute Humidity)
P-factor : is a basic offset for differential value between the H out and H in; the higher the
differential, the greater the P-factor. It is found that the greater the difference between H out
and H in, the greater the vapour pressure has its effect in pushing the moisture through a
wall. It is added into the formula
to improve the offset in the form of a mathematical division.
P-factor = (H out - H in) / 11.5
INFILTRATION = (H out - H in) x 0.0012 x Space Volume x K-factor x P-factor
INFILTRATION = ( 18.5-8.6 ) x 0.0012 x 2000 x 0.23 x 0.86 = 4.7 L/hr i.e. there is 4.7 Litre of
water getting into the space every hour.

2) HUMAN LOAD - This is a simple load based on estimation of human activities and Hfactor
( human activity level )

HUMAN LOAD ( L/hr ) = Number of people x H-factor x


0.065
H-Factor Table
PASSIVE, OFFICE WORK
SOME MEASURE OF MOVEMENT
HEAVY LABOUR / EXERCISE

2,0
2.5
3,0

3) VENTILATION - This is the estimate of the exhaust air or fresh air volume entering the
room. Fresh air is needed for
human being. Each person requires an estimate of 20 CMH of fresh air. Door opening is
another cause for ventilation.
Every time the door opens it adds to the fresh air intake and should be part of this formula.
VENTILATION LOAD ( L/hr)= AIR INTAKE (CMH) x

(H out - H in ) x

0.0012
where H out - H in are similarly defined as in INFILTRATION LOAD.

DOOR OPENING LOAD / DOOR LOAD


Door opening can be considered as part of the Ventilation Load as it introduces air into the
room each time a door is
opened. It is measured as the added quantity of AIR INTAKE (CMH) in Ventilation Load.
DOOR LOAD (CMH) = AREA OF DOOR (sq. meter ) x 3 x time(sec) door stayed
opened x No. of openings/Hr

e.g. A 5 sq.meter door opens 2 times per hour, each time stayed opened for 6 seconds is equal
to = 5 x 3 x 6 x 2 = 180 CMH ventilation air.
Note: The initial condition of the untreated space is usually just a good indication of the
"wetness level" and is NOT part
of the Moisture Load calculation Formula.

3) SELECTION OF DEHUMIDIFIER AFTER CALCULATING THE LOAD IN L/Hr


Most of the Dehumidifiers catalogues have some values indicated like 16L/day or 12 L/day.
These values are indicative of the capacity of the dehumidifiers. Because different
manufacturers use a different condition to measure this value, there is always confusion in
selection.
For example: Unit "A" with 15 L/day at 85% RH 33 deg C may be smaller in capacity than unit
"B" which states a 12 L/day capacity at 70% RH26 deg C. You may ask," That's confusing!
"Yes, it is !

The reason is that the Dehumidifiers have different capacity at different temperature and
humidity.
To simplify the description, a specified condition like 80% RH 30 deg C is the standard
reference for most brands.
However, the better systems usually have another reference point like 27 deg C 60% RH or
55% RH 25 deg C etc. intermediate value as midpoint reference. This middle values are the
real functioning range of the Dehumidifier/DH as we usually want to keep the room at lower
RH than 80%. Some industrial systems come with a performance curve chart.

Example:

'CAPACITY CURVE OF MODEL

A room that need to be


dehumidified to 50% RH at
25 Deg C, and have a
humidity load of 0,125
L/hour (3 L/day) based on
the method of calculation
recommended above.
Model X has a capacity of
3,75 L/day at 50% RH at 25
Deg C is the nearest choice.
Model X however, is
advertised rightfully as
having 12.5 L/day capacity
at 30 deg C 80% RH.

"X"

From this exercise, we can


see that the graph is very
crucial in a proper way of
selection.

The above method applies to condensation type of dehumidifier selection for between 40%
and 65% RH control level.
It is a general rule of thumb method. it is not applicable to centralized ducted air con system.
For Desiccant dehumidifier selection, various manufacturers have different methods of
selection as desiccant dehumidifiers have a more complicated performance curve.