The tropics are often characterized by high temperatures and elevated humidity ratios that contribute to heat stress. Implementing certain passive design strategies for cooling, such as natural ventilation, can help reduce thermal discomfort, but during summer conditions relying on passive strategies alone for cooling is not enough and has its limitations. Incorporating membranes in mechanical systems reduce latent loads for cooling and eliminate the need to reheat the supply air. As a building element, vacuum-based membranes could be applied as a low-energy cooling strategy to condition and increase the potential of natural ventilation in hot and humid climates. This study analyses the implementation of vacuum-based membranes for dehumidification. The purpose of this research is to evaluate the Vacuum-based membrane dehumidification system against a Dedicated Outside Air System (DOAS) in terms of energy consumption and performance in improving thermal comfort inside an office space for hot and humid climates.
KEYWORDS: vacuum-based membrane, dehumidification, hot and humid climates, tropics, low energy dehumidification, absolute humidity.
final documentation >
Mentors: Guowei Wu, Pamela Cabrera, Viola Zhang
Ana Diaz Cerrato – Honduras
After her bachelor’s in architecture at the Central American Technological University (UNITEC), Ana went to Arizona State University for her Master in Built Environment, Energy Performance and Climate Responsive Architecture (MSBE). Before coming here, she was an architectural consultant for the International Organization for Migrations (IOM Honduras) for “Return and Reintegration Program in the Northern Triangle”.