Evaporative cooling technology (ECT) has been deemed as an alternative to the conventional vapor-compression air conditioning system for dry climates in recent years due to its simple structure and low operating cost. Generally speaking, the ECT includes two types of different technologies, direct evaporative cooling (DEC) and indirect evaporative cooling (IEC). Both technologies can theoretically reduce the air temperature to the wet-bulb temperature of outdoor air. The major difference between these two technologies is that DEC will introduce extra moisture to the supply air while IEC will not. The enhanced IEC, Maisotsenko-cycle (M-cyle) IEC, can even bring down the air temperature to the dew point temperature. The ECT integrated with solid desiccant systems, i.e., solid desiccant-assisted evaporative cooling technologies (SDECT), could make the technology applicable to a wider range of weather conditions, e.g., weather with high humidity. In this paper, the recent development of various evaporative cooling technologies (ECT), solid desiccant material and the integration of these two technologies, the SDECT, were thoroughly reviewed with respect to their configuration, optimization and desiccant unit improvement. Furthermore, modeling techniques for simulating SDECT with their pros and cons were also reviewed. Potential opportunities and research recommendations were indicated, which include improving the structure and material of M-cycle IEC, developing novel desiccant material and optimizing configuration, water consumption rate and operation strategy of SDECT system. This review paper indicated that the SDECT system could be a potential replacement for the conventional vapor-compressed cooling system and could be applied in hot and humid environments with proper arrangements.
direct evaporative cooling, indirect evaporative cooling, solid desiccant, air conditioning, solar energy