Indirect evaporative cooling (IEC) is an eco-friendly technology that has the potential to reduce energy consumption by 4 times compared with conventional air conditioners (AC). However, IEC has not been widely used due to operational limitations in humid environments and water availability in arid environments. Many patents related to IEC have been granted in the past decades, aiming to make breakthrough innovations. This article reviews and discusses published patents in a chronological order and presents the different configurations of IEC devices. It presents the standards and evaluation parameters utilized to characterize the performance of IEC devices. Additionally, the current research gaps are identified, and the outlook of this technology is highlighted. This review shows that the convective air heat transfer on the dry side of the IEC heat exchangers is generally the limiting factor in how small IEC devices can be constructed. One of the main factors that negatively affect the cooling capacity of IEC technology is the non-uniform wettability of the wet channel surface. With the recent research and development, the share of IEC technology in the AC market will increase noticeably in the next decades, aiming to reduce the energy consumption and the carbon footprint in the building sector.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
- Mechanics of Materials
- Civil and Structural Engineering
- Building and Construction