New ASHRAE research may lead to better understanding of humidity control and energy costs for unitary equipment.

The research project from the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers is titled “Evaluating the Ability of Unitary Equipment to Maintain Adequate Space Humidity Levels.” The two-phase project was funded in part by the Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Technology Institute.

“The results will help designers better understand the humidity control and energy-cost impacts of the unitary equipment options compared in this project,” said Michael J. Witte, Ph.D., lead researcher on the project. “Many of these options are in limited use, so actual performance experience is not available for a broad range of building types or climates. What performs well on a restaurant in Orlando (Florida) may not be effective on a retail store in Atlanta. This comparison of 18 system types across seven building types in 10 climates provides additional equipment selection information.”

The project will also provide designers with analysis of humidity- control performance on a wide range of system configurations, including subcool reheat, wrap-around heat pipes, dual-path systems, enthalpy heat recovery and desiccant dehumidifiers.

The final report can be purchased by visiting www.ashrae.org/research.