In hot and humid climates such as those experienced in the Gulf region the removal of moisture from the air (dehumidification) carries the same importance as cooling. Additionally, iinsufficient dehumidification could adversely stimulate the growth of harmful mould and mildew. Conventional air conditioner systems achieve these comfort levels mainly through vapor compression whereby air is cooled below its dew point resulting in the condensation of the vapor on the cooling coil thus removing moisture. The dehumidified air is then reheated to the desired temperature. These processes – which involve cooling to dewpoint and subsequent reheating – require excessive energy consumption. As an alternative to the conventional methodology, the QMAX was designed to dehumidify the supplied air via hygroscopic properties of desiccants to reduce the energy cost by as much 40%.


The main of the project was to develop an environmentally friendly, non-toxic air conditioning system that is optimized to deliver efficient dehumidification with minimal energy.


The project aims to meet its objectives of designing an energy efficient air conditioning system using desiccant based dehumidification coupled with combination of essential unit components to deliver comfort conditions efficiently at lower energy demands in comparison to conventional units in the market.


Through smart design in combining optimized system units and using an efficient desiccant for dehumidification, energy savings of about 20-30% compared to conventional air conditioning systems have been achieved. Other significant characteristics of the QMAX prototype include:

  • Fully automated operational modes based on control loops that manage and adjust according to weather conditions.
  • Airborne bacteria and fungus removal is enhanced through capture and incapacitation by desiccant interaction to yield a cleaner supplied air in conditioned space
  • Low-cost capital due to the cheap and available dehumidification based on an potassium formate desiccant solution with 75 % concentration compared to classic inorganic salts such as LiBr, LiCl etc.
  • Energy savings attributed to the optimal use of potassium formate as a desiccant. The reduction in humidity ratio of 7 g/kg regeneration at 26g/s yields reductions in latent heat and relative humidity in supplied air with a 20-30% reduction in energy use.