April 2006

Award a Credit to FSEC Researcher's Dehumidification Concept

Charlie Cromer
Dr. Charles Cromer, PV Division Director

An innovative desiccant dehumidification HVAC system has won Trane the 2006 Frost & Sullivan Product Innovation of the Year Award.  This award is presented annually to a company that has demonstrated excellence in new products and technology in its industry.

In announcing the award, it was noted that Trane extended “a lot of credit” to FSEC’s Charlie Cromer, who originated the CDQ™ (Cool Dry Quiet) concept and obtained several patents for the technology.  Trane licensed the technology from him and used it to develop their award-winning system.

Inside ac unit

A Trane CDQ™ (Cool Dry Quiet) unit installed at Saint Vincent's Hopital in Birmingham, AL
(Photo: Charie Cromer)

In 2001, Cromer assembled a team that included FSEC, Trane, the University of Chicago and desiccant wheel manufacturers, and obtained a contract from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to do prototype work and testing on this technology. DOE was interested because, theoretically, the cycle showed promise in reducing the energy needed for moisture control. “This is an excellent example where the federal government, through DOE, university research, and industry, were able to collaborate very successfully,” Cromer said.


Desiccant wheel inside the CDQ™ system
(Photo: Charie Cromer )

Trane’s CDQ system was an outgrowth of the need to give industry high-efficiency dehumidification capacity.  There are many products that control humidity but they have limited moisture control or they are energy inefficient.  But with growing concern about mold and mildew, companies are looking for ways to control humidity as they control temperature. Trane’s CDQ system meets this market need by providing an efficient method of controlling humidity as compared to the traditional over-cool-then-reheat process. 

Cromer pointed out that “Typical systems provide just a thermostat to control temperature. The CDQ provides the building operator with the ability to dial in the relative humidity they want in the space. Not only does the Trane system provide much more capacity to control humidity, it also provides this control at substantial energy savings over alternative technologies.”

Detailed information on this technology is available at:
http://www.trane.com/Commercial/Equipment/PDF/32/Trane%20RTU%20with%20CDQ%20sales%20piece.pdf .

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