In this article, we will learn all about humidifiers, it’s definition, types, working, domestic & industrial applications, basic humidification processes, etc. Let’s explore humidifier!
What are Humidifiers? Definition
Preservation is the word that acquires a prominent place in today’s world. From a tiny thing to a massive one, everything needs proper preservation. Preserving a material can be done from different things such as dirt, moisture, environmental impurities, and many more. This enables one to acquire the last longing life that helps get the maximum out of any materials. Humidification is among the core processes that help in preserving anything for long. Here we are going to discuss elaborately the equipment that helps in providing proper humidification, Humidifiers.
- Humidifiers are the equipment that helps provide properly controlled humidification, which helps in different sectors such as catering to the need for comfort and health—improving the different manufacturing processes, helping to provide par grade environment for the building materials and different furnishing materials.
- In other words, we can say that the proper humidification process helps increase the processes, life of materials, productivity, and satisfaction level.
This excerpt will let us know about the humidifiers before getting onto what is recommended to understand the humidification process. We will start with a brief description of humidification and then move towards the humidifier’s core information.
Definition of Humidifier
In layman’s language, a humidifier is used to raise the humidity at a designated place. This place can be of different shapes and sizes. Based on this shape and size, the number and type of humidifier are finalized. Some of the primitive ways also available can coincide with the current functionality of the humidifier, such as boiling a pan of water and hanging a wet towel near the heating orifice. However, nowadays, people are more leaned towards improving the humidity level of their home by using a dedicated humidifier which is also the need of time.
Apart from the above definition, Humidifiers are the devices used to increase the moisture content of the air. The main factor affecting air humidification is water vaporization, as it effectively needs heat for apt functioning. Crisply we can say that the equipment that effectively functions to add the moisture content to the air are known as humidifiers.
How Does Humidification Work?
Humidification is the phenomenon of equipping the water vapor content in a gas. This process is necessary for most industrial applications such as gas cooling, Air conditioning, comfortable heating, and many more.
It is pretty evident that when a gas is gradually brought in contact with a liquid that remains pure, insoluble, and with phase mass, the heat transfer occurs, which generates the need for humidification and dehumidification. There are numerous applications of the humidification process that lies in the vicinity. Some of them are as follows:
- Gas cooling in sync with the water
- Before the process of reuse, the cooling of liquid is acquired
- Cooling of gas in air conditioning
- Humidifying the gases for controlled drying wet solids
The above four are the most popular use of humidification, which makes it quite helpful for preserving different kinds of materials. It is mandatory to get acquainted with some of the definitions and terminologies that drive the humidification process. Let us delve into some of the basic definitions and terminologies linked with the humidification process.
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Terminologies and Basic terms in Humidification Process
The following are some of the basic terminologies and terms that can help us to understand the process of humidification effectively:
This is defined as the volume of a unit mass of dry air with water vapor at a specific temperature and pressure.
The humid heat is specifically the heat energy needed to increase the unit mass of dry air with water vapor.
This is the parameter which is the sum of the relative enthalpies of the vapor and gas content.
This is the parameter by which the actual temperature of the air is measured. This is done with the help of a thermometer in which the bulb remains in dry condition.
This is the steady temperature that is acquired by a sheer amount of evaporating water. It is attained in how the sensible heat is being transferred from the air to liquid that helps in providing latent heat of the evaporation.
It can be defined as the ratio of the partial pressure of water vapor to the vapor pressure of the water. With relative humidity, we can deduce the degree of saturation of the gas at a specific temperature.
It is the parameter through which we can measure the moisture content in a gas. Absolute humidity is specifically the mass of water per unit mass of the dry gas.
It is defined as the relationship between absolute humidity and saturation humidity at the same pressure and temperature.
It is the core temperature at which the saturation of the vapor gas mixture is attained after cooling them. The dew point of the saturated gas remains as same as the gas temperature. When we try to cool the vapor mixture at a specific temperature, the temperature at which it saturates is also known as the dew point.
Types of Humidifiers
While getting acquainted with the core working processes of the humidifiers, it is essential to get a grasp of different types of humidifiers. There are mainly two types of humidifiers available based on their usage.
- Humidifiers are used in industries and households.
- The humidifiers used in industries are industrial, while the other ones are domestic humidifiers.
What are Industrial Humidifiers? Working & Types
The primary purpose of industrial humidifiers used in industries is for the following purposes:
- To provide moisture in the warm environment
- To provide circulated air that protects the furnishings
- To reduce the static electricity
For the above purposes, the industrial humidifiers use demineralized, untreated, softened, and deionized water. There are different kinds of humidifiers for industrial purposes; one of the popular ones is conventional steam humidifiers that use a gas-fired or electrical heater to boil water and effectively discharge steam into the air.
Types of Industrial Humidifiers
The following are the types of industrial humidifiers and their core working procedure:
- Conventional steam humidifiers: These humidifiers use a gas-fired or electrical heater to boil the water and then release the steam to the air, which moistens the environment.
- Direct or live steam humidifiers: This kind of industrial humidifier directly injects the steam into a duct or air handling system.
- Liquid to steam humidifiers: Liquid to steam humidifiers uses a heat exchanger that transfers energy from the hot liquid in the water-filled chamber.
- Steam to steam humidifiers: In this also we use heat exchanger that effectively converts the water into steam by increasing the temperature of the water.
- Ultrasonic humidifiers: Ultrasonic devices work on the principle of vibration in which a piezoelectric transducer is vibrated at an optimal frequency range that helps create the tiny water droplets. Some of the systems are equipped with specialized orifices or nozzles that effectively discharge a mist of compressed air and atomized water.
What is the core specification of industrial humidifiers?
The following are the specifications of industrial humidifiers that define the efficiency of the industrial humidifiers:
- Primary Voltage: This is the voltage rating supplied to the heat exchanger or heater.
- Power demand: Power demand is the rated power of the humidifier that is given in Kilowatts (kW).
- Output capacity: This is the amount of vapor or steam generated by the industrial humidifiers in a specified time lap.
- Steam pressure: The pressure supplied for both indirect heating and direct duct injection is known as steam pressure.
- Rated input: This is the thermal unit that can only be applied to those humidifiers which use gas-fired heaters.
- Control intolerance: This is the specification of the industrial humidifier that is the percentage of control of the humidifiers at a set point of time. We can say that this is the control tolerance on which the system can be set effectively.
With the information of these specifications, it is pretty easy to select an effective industrial humidifier that can easily help preserve the products and different equipment. Apart from these specifications, several other features and factors can define the productivity of the humidifiers.
Numerous humidifiers vary in features as well as mounting style. Some humidifiers can easily be mounted on walls or ceilings. However, we can also get standing or portable humidifiers without any worry. Some of the devices are equipped with advanced technology that can provide par level efficiency. Some are equipped with remote communications, an integral control pane, a built-in diagnostic console, and many more.
In addition to these, several others are equipped with cleaning features and water demineralization, which makes them quite advanced. Where there is a need for optimal output capacity, one needs to look for modular systems that fulfil all the needs.
The core use of industrial humidifiers is in Ventilation, air conditioning systems, heating system, and many more. For instance, in large printing presses, plastic manufacturers use these humidifiers to reduce the probability of static electricity and the dust build-up on the types of machinery, respectively. Apart from these, the industrial use of humidifiers is also in laboratories, semiconductor manufacturing facilities, etc.
What are Domestic Humidifiers? Working & Types
Nowadays the domestic humidifiers are getting quite popular due to the ever-increasing heat concerns. These are designed for the central air system, which effectively depends upon the airflow. The following are the different types of domestic humidifiers that are briefly explained as follows:
- Fan type
- Bypass type
- Atomizing humidifiers
- Self-Contained Electrode Steam Humidifiers
Fan type humidifier system
In these humidifiers, a blower or small fan is attached that effectively helps provide the moisture through a wetted pad. This is among the common and popular kinds of domestic humidifier systems.
These humidifiers are not equipped with fans; however, these are mounted on the return plenum supply that acts as an air source. A decrease in static pressure occurs that helps the furnace blower provide air throughout the atmosphere.
These humidifiers are equipped with a mechanism that can easily absorb moisture, which depends on different factors such as flow rate, moisture content, and air temperature. In this, the small particles are formed and effectively scattered in the atmosphere.
The core working of this kind of humidifier depends upon the spinning disk that throws a water stream. It is equipped with deflector plates where it turns to the fine particulates of fog. The spray orifice or nozzles works on the water pressure that helps produce a fine spray of the water. In this, the spray nozzles use compressed air that effectively creates fine particulates of mist. The machine uses ultrasonic vibrations that use the atomizing force to evolve the fine fog or mist.
Self-Contained Electrode Steam Humidifiers
These humidifiers are more automated ones that operate with the help of passing electric current in the tap water and generating the heat by boiling the water. These humidifiers contain partial draining, which comes with the adequate electrical flow.
Core Applications of Humidifiers
There are numerous applications of the humidifiers that can be widely distributed into different sectors such as commercial and agricultural. The industrial applications of the humidifiers also hold the crux as it helps maintain the condition required for the preservation. The following are some of the critical applications of the humidifiers that can help in understanding the worth of the same:
Adiabatic cooling: Adiabatic cooling is attained through humidifiers in data centers, offices, car manufacturing plans, timber machining plants, machining areas, etc. This is the process in which fine water droplets are acquired with the help of spray humidifiers. In this process, evaporation occurs, which needs heat energy that helps change the state of liquid, specifically water, to a gas. The energy is contained in the water, which helps in decreasing the temperature. Gradually the heat energy from the surrounding air helps in cooling the air.
Cold storage: Cold storage or rooms have wide usages in which we have to maintain the RH level at an increased point. This depends on the product which is going to be kept in the storage. It ensures that the said product does not lose its core aesthetics, such as appearance or weight. Mainly cold storage or rooms are used to keep fruits, vegetables, meats, and other perishable items with a high chance of losing moisture.
Data centers: As discussed in the adiabatic cooling section, the data centers are the most prone places that need better humidification. It is essential to keep a fair temperature while operating computers or other networking equipment as it enables us to use them safely and for a long time. This is one of the main parameters as a few degrees of increase in temperature can severely blow the equipment.
This effectively helps in saving a large amount of money that may occur due to a system crash. Nowadays, data centers or server rooms are the most important for any business, and keeping them in poor humidification can cause severe damage. It can damage other electronic equipment as well. To mitigate this, different kinds of humidifiers are used in these places.
Food industry and agriculture: Nowadays, the increase in the consumption of food and attention towards the agricultural sector has increased drastically. Food materials such as barley, cheese need proper humidification that helps in the optimal maturing. It is required to have mold growth that can only be attained at high humidity levels. The areas are equipped with humidifiers that can effectively provide high humidity.
In the agricultural sector, such as maggot or mushroom farms, it is essential to attain high humidity levels that help in the much-needed growth of the plant. Different sectors in agriculture need low temperature and high humidity levels in order to attain proper growth. In a nutshell, agriculture and the food sector need proper humidification equipment to cater to their needs.
Hospitals and Operating Theatres: The relationship between relative humidity and pathogens is quite vital. Pathogens can be of different types, such as viruses and bacteria. The management of relative humidity drastically affects infectious pathogens. This is the core reason that enables the healthcare and operating theatres to use humidifiers at any cost.
There are numerous viruses such as norovirus and influenza that are quite redundant. They keep on generating in the environment if adequate humidification is not maintained. It is prescribed that if we maintain the RH level between 40% to 70%, we can quickly minimize the survival rate of these pathogens.
The probability of the generation of airborne bacteria in these places is relatively high. It is prescribed to maintain an intermediate RH level. The minimum level RH causes the throat, lungs, and nose drying, which makes the body susceptible to infections.
Mid-range RH level is vital and should be maintained at any cost. One of the essential areas, such as operation theatre, should remain free from pathogens and infectious bacteria. Low humidity can easily make the machines as well as other equipment susceptible to ignition.
Wellness Centers: Wellness centers are getting quite popular, and this is only because, in these areas, the user can easily breathe fresh air without any worry. To maintain this kind of environment, it is crucial to maintain the same. Correct humidification can easily decrease the feeling of increased or decreased temperature.
It also helps in saving energy bills and provides a limiting factor to the environment. One of the additional advantages of the same is minimizing the amount of dust present in the air.
There are numerous premium wellness and leisure centers that help in maintaining an excellent work-life balance. There are numerous amounts of these centers available, which are equipped with premium sauna and Turkish baths. Keeping the humidity level in sync is mandatory as these rooms should remain clean at the par level.
Manufacturing of electronics and Microprocessor: Places where the manufacturing of electronics and microprocessors takes place, need adequate care. Specifically, in electronics manufacturing facilities, the reduction of electrostatic discharging risk is quite prominent. It helps in avoiding damage to different delicate components and other production equipment.
It is mandatory to keep the humidity level of the electronics manufacturing area between 35% RH to 75% RH. Some facilities keep the humidity level at a moderate level. However, others try to maintain the lower RH level for those parts that are sensitive to humidity.
The microprocessors are the sensitive parts that need to be kept in an environment that helps attain optimal humidity levels. Electrostatic discharge is one of the significant causes that occur when air humidity drops to a certain level. With the control of humidity, one can expect a persistent quality of air.
Preservation with the help of an adiabatic air humidifying system provides an additional benefit for cooling the excess heated parts.
Humidification is the process that in maintaining apt moisture level as well as temperature. Here we have discussed the humidification process and the associated information. In addition to that, we have also discussed different kinds of humidifiers based on different factors. These factors enable us to understand the core importance of the humidification process. Moreover, we have also discussed the different kinds of applications of humidifiers in different sectors.
The approach towards preserving the product and the environment is foremost as it can provide practical benefits. While getting the information on humidification, it is also important to acquaint ourselves with the dehumidification process. We will discuss this topic also in another article.