A clean room is an artificially-created environment characterized by very low levels of particulates such as dust and microbes. The ability to control humidity in a cleanroom is of crucial importance in a range of industries, including the chemical, electronics and food processing sectors, as well as the pharmaceutical industry. A dry room, meanwhile, is a room where the relative humidity is strictly controlled. With the right clean room dehumidification approach, it’s possible to reduce relative humidity levels to 20% or even as low as under 2%. These very low levels of humidity are needed during the manufacturing processes of everything from semiconductors and solar panels to LEDs and rechargeable batteries. In the case of the lithium-ion battery manufacturing environment (these being the batteries that are commonly used to power electric vehicles), extremely low levels of humidity must be maintained around -50°C Dew Point (DP)
Clean room humidity control thanks to the Dessica desiccant rotor
The technology at the heart of Dessica’s ability to control humidity in a cleanroom is a silica gel-based desiccant wheel system. This wheel, also called a rotor, is mostly composed of active silica gel, with glass fiber and an smaller amounts of acrylic surface coating. The rotor works by having air blown through the wheel, with the silica gel then capturing moisture from the humid air. A second flow of air, called reactivation air, is heated and then blown back through the rotor, drying the silica gel out and ensuring it can be used again. This rotor has excellent fire resistance properties and is capable of handling very high levels of relative humidity. What’s more, Dessica recently filed a new patent that will enable rotor speed to automatically adjust to changes in temperature and humidity, making for an even more energy-efficient (and therefore cost-efficient) approach to dehumidification across the range of industries with which Dessica currently works.