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10 Objectives:

1. To study humidity and temperature humidity control, wet and dry bulb
temperature comparisons.
2. To study the humidity measurement with wet and dry bulb temperature.
3. To learn how to use the psychrometric chart.
4. To study how the air flow affect the humidity measurement.

2.0 Introduction:

Humidity is a measurement of the amount of water vapour or the degree of


dampness in the atmosphere. [5] There are two most important factors that varies
the amount of humidity found in the air. The two important factor are evaporation and
condensation.

Evaporation is the process by which water is converted from liquid to vapour and
then transferred from land and water masses to the atmosphere. They are a few
factors affecting the rate of evaporation. One of the factors is related to the study of
humidity, which is the lower the humidity, the higher the evaporation. Condensation,
on the other hand, is the reverse of evaporation. Condensation is the process
whereby the water vapour in the atmosphere returns to its original liquid state.
Condensation of water vapour normally occurs when the temperature of air is
lowered to its dew point. Dew point is the temperature at which air becomes
saturated with water moisture and in this case, any further cooling from this
temperature results in condensation of the water from the air. From the explaination
of condensation, it can be further relates to the study of humidity, which is when the
temperature of air decreases, the absolute humidity increases and due to the
decreased of temperature, condensation happens. [4]

Since the word humidity has described the fact that the atmosphere can contain
water vapour, scientists have discovered various ways to measure the atmospheric
humidity. Atmospheric humidity is the humidity in the air. Mixing ratio, saturation
mixing ratio and relative humidity are three of the many methods for measuring
atmospheric humidity. Mixing ratio measures the water vapour content in the air
using a measure of mass of water vapour for a given mass of dry air. It can be
measured in grams of water vapour per kilogram of dry air. When the difference
between mixing ratio and specific humidity is being noticed, where specific humidity
includes the water vapour in the air in the denominator, it is realized that mixing ratio
measures the amount of water vapour per mass of dry air if compare to specific
humidity. Since that water vapour only comprises a few present of the mass of air,
the values for specific humidity and mixing ratio are very close to each other for a
given parcel of air. Mixing ratio is commonly used by meteorologists because it is not
affected by changes in pressure and temperature. [3]

Meanwhile, saturation mixing ratio is referring to the mass of water vapour that can
be held in a kilogram of dry air at saturated condition. Saturation can be defined as
the condition where any addition of water vapour to a mass of air will lead to
condensation or the forming of ice at a given pressure and temperature.

Relative humidity, on the other hand is the ratio of the actual mass of vapour in the
air to the mass of vapour in saturated air at the same temperature. The calculation of
relative humidity is shown in equation 1:

Relative humidity=actual vapour densitysaturation vapour density x 100%

Equation 1

When unsaturated air is cooled, relative humidity will increase. Eventually it reaches
a temperature at which it is saturated, where relative humidity is 100%. Further
cooling will leads to condensation of the excess water vapour. The temperature at
which condensation happens is called the dew point, which have been explain
previously. The dew point, and others measures of humidity can be calculated from
readings taken by a hygrometer.

To study humidity, a humidity measuring bench is used. A humidity measuring bench


can be used to study the relationship between temperature and humidity of air in the
laboratory by several methods. Humidity measuring bench is actually equipment
which imitates the condition of air outside the laboratory. It let people to study the
outdoor humidity by just staying inside the lab. The humidity of air is studied by just
adjusting the temperature (air conditional or heater) and the fan speed, which
imitates the speed of the wind outside.

Since the temperature of the air affects the humidity, where high temperature
reduces humidity and allows the air to carry more water vapour. The difference
between the dry and wet bulb temperature from the thermometers in the humidity
measuring bench is used to find the relative humidity of air from the psychrometric
chart. Dry bulb temperature is the normal temperature which measured using a
normal thermometer. Wet bulb temperature, on the other hand, is a type
of temperature measurement that reflects the physical properties of a system with a
mixture of a gas and a vapour, usually air and water vapour. Wet bulb temperature is
the lowest temperature that can be reached by the evaporation of water only. It is the
temperature felt when skin is wet and is exposed to moving air. Unlike dry bulb
temperature, wet bulb temperature is an indication of the amount of moisture in the
air. [1]

Humidity measurement is very important in industry. Humidity effect the machinery


we are using every day, especially the sensitive computers, visual and photographic
equipment. If the temperature drops below the freezing point, it can cause changes in
how the linear motion and seals operate in machinery, especially within motion
picture cameras and sensors by increasing the formation of ice or vapour within the
operating systems. This can result in the shutdown or failure of the circuit boards.

In the industry, there are different types of devices used to measure and regulate
humidity. One of the devices used in industry humidity measurement is called a
hygrometer. A hygrometer is an instrument used for measuring the moisture content
in the environmental air, or humidity. Besides, Humidity is also measured on a global
scale using remotely placed satellites. These satellites are able to detect the
concentration of water in the troposphere at altitudes between 4 and 12 kilometers.
Satellites that can measure water vapor have sensors that are sensitive to infrared
radiation. Water vapor specifically absorbs and re-radiates radiation in this spectral
band. Satellite water vapor imagery plays an important role in monitoring climate
conditions (like the formation of thunderstorms) and in the development of
future weather forecasts. [2]

30 Methodology
3.1 Materials:

1. Humidifier
2. Handheld dewpoint meter

3.2 Experiment Procedures:

1. The apparatus main power supply is switched on.


2. Provided cotton is submerged in water and they are rolled around wet bulb
thermocouple. The observation door is closed.
3. Step 2 is repeated for ambient wet bulb thermocouple.

High temperature measurement:

1. The axial fan is switch on. The frequency is set to 5Hz by adjusting the
frequency inverter.
2. The air duct heating temperature heater is switched on. The temperature is
set to 60 degree Celcius.
3. The humidifier is switched on. The power button is pressed continuously until
fog is released from the humidifier.
4. The system is allowed to reach steady state (let it to stabilize for 5 minutes)
where by there are no more changes in heater and duct temperature.
5. All the readings displayed on the digital meters are recorded. These readings
are recorded to the table provided. The handheld dewpoint meter is placed
inside the duct so that dewpoint temperature can be measured.
6. The readings for different air flowrates are recorded by adjusting fan
frequency,
7. Humidity and dewpoint values are obtained from a psychrometric chart.
8. The results for different types of humidity & dewpoint measurements are
compared.
9. The graph of relative humidity versus temperature is ploted.

Low temperature measurement:


1. The axial fan is switch on. The frequency is set to 5Hz by adjusting the
frequency inverter.
2. The air conditioning system is switched on and the cooling tenperature is
allowed to reach 10 degree Celcius.
3. The humidifier is switched on. The power button is pressed continuously until
fog is released from the humidifier.
4. The system is allowed to reach steady state (let it to stabilize for 5 minutes)
where by there are no more changes in heater and duct temperature.
5. All the readings displayed on the digital meters are recorded. These readings
are recorded to the table provided. The handheld dewpoint meter is placed
inside the duct so that dewpoint temperature can be measured.
6. The readings for different air flowrates are recorded by adjusting fan
frequency,
7. Humidity and dewpoint values are obtained from a psychrometric chart.
8. The results for different types of humidity & dewpoint measurements are
compared.
9. The graph of relative humidity versus temperature is ploted.

Results:
Table 1: Low Temperature Measurements

Fan Duct Ambient Humidity Dewpoint


Frequency(Hz) Temperature Temperature Measument Measurement
o o
( C) ( C) (%RH) (oC)

Wet Dry Wet Dry Sensor Chart Sensor Chart

5.0 18.6 19.3 21.7 26.5 68.4 95.0 13.9 18.7

7.5 18.5 20.0 21.7 26.5 74.5 87.0 13.1 18.1

10.0 17.9 19.6 21.7 26.5 78.5 84.0 13.2 17.3

12.5 17.8 20.0 21.7 26.5 81.8 81.0 13.4 16.0

15.0 17.9 20.5 21.7 26.5 82.8 79.0 13.9 16.5

17.5 17.8 20.4 21.7 26.5 79.4 78.0 12.9 16.4

20.0 17.1 20.6 21.7 26.5 75.0 71.0 13.0 15.5

22.5 17.7 20.7 21.7 26.5 72.8 75.0 12.8 16.1

25 17.6 20.7 21.7 26.5 71.8 74.0 12.7 16.1

30 17.8 20.7 21.7 26.5 71.7 74.0 12.7 16.2

Graph 1: Raw presentation for percentage of relative humidity versus dry duct

temperature graph for low temperature measurements.

Graph 2: Ideal presentation for percentage of relative humidity versus dry duct
temperature graph for low temperature measurements according to

psychrometric chart.

Table 2: High Temperature Measurements

Fan Duct Ambient Humidity Dewpoint


Frequency(Hz) Temperature Measurement
Temperature Measurement
0
( C) (%RH)
(0C) (0C)

Wet Dry Wet Dry Sensor Chart Meter Chart

30 28.0 33.9 24.2 27.9 50.1 65.0 21.2 26.1

25 28.3 34.5 24.2 27.8 47.9 63.0 21.4 26.4

20 29.1 36.1 24.3 27.9 43.8 60.0 21.6 27.0

15 30.0 38.3 24.3 28.0 40.1 56.0 22.2 27.7

10 33.0 41.8 24.2 28.0 38.3 55.0 23.0 30.8

5 33.4 42.7 24.2 28.0 37.9 53.0 25.0 31.2

Graph 3: Presentation for percentage of relative humidity versus dry duct

temperature graph for high temperature measurement

Discussion:

After this experiment, 3 graphs for percentage of relative humidity versus dry duct
temperature are ploted for low temperature measurements and high temperature
measurements according to the data recorded.

For the first graph (refer to graph 1), which is the raw presentation for percentage of
relative humidity versus dry duct temperature for low temperature measurements,
shows an uneven tabulation of points for the percentages of relative humidity
obtained from the machine sensor, compared to the machine readings, the points for
percentages of relative humidity obtained from the psychrometric chart by using dry
and wet bulb temperature are more evenly distributed and gave a smooth inverserly
proportional curve. The raw presentation graph is included in the experiment result
so that the readings obtained using sensor and psychrometric chart can be
compared. The uneven distribution of points is because of the machine error. Every
machines will have its error either major or minor and cannot be prohibited. In theory,
it is stated that the higher the temperature, the lower the percentage of relative
humidity. However, in the result in the table (refer to table 1), it can be seen that for
percentage of relative humidity from the sensor shows an increasing value with
increasing temperature. However, after the dry duct temperature reached 20.5oC, the
readings become normal again. This is probably because of the short stabilation time
of the humidity measuring bench (2 minutes instead of 5 minutes) due to the lack of
experiment time. If the machine stabilation time is let to be 5 minutes or more,
perhaps the error in readings can be reduced.

The second graph (refer to graph 2) is the ideal presentation for percentage of
relative humidity versus dry duct temperature for low temperature measurements.
This graph is plotted to explain the actual theory for humidity, where it stated that the
higher the temperature, the lower the percentage of relative humidity. Therefore in
the graph, it shows a smooth inverserly proportional graph. Although the values is
quite accurate since the values are obtained from psychrometric chart, there is still a
minor error. As we can see in the table (refer to table 2), when the fan frequency is
20 Hz, the wet bulb temperature should be 17.7oC if compared to the previous wet
bulb temperature (17.8oC). However, the wet bulb temperature shows a reading of
17.1oC and this caused an error when finding the percentage of relative humidity
through the psychrometric chart using the wet bulb temperature. This is probably
cause by the machine error again. Therefore, some small modification is made so
that a smooth graph is obtained. The modification made is the arrangement of dry
duct temperature values. Besides, in the table for low temperature measurements, it
is realised that the lower the fan frequency, the lower the temperature. That is
because if the air flow rate is low, the air has more time in contact with the air
conditional system and causes the air to flow at a cooler temperature. In contrast, the
higher the fan frequency, the higher the temperature. That is because when the air
flow rate is high, less time for the air to in contact with the air conditional system and
hence cause the air flow in a slightly higher temperature.

The third graph (refer to graph 3) shows the presentation for percentage of relative
humidity versus dry duct temperature for high temperature measurements. From the
table (refer to table 2), the readings obtained from the sensor and the psychrometric
chart is quite accurate since that the heater is in a better condition than the air
conditional system. In the table we can see that the lower the air frequency, the
higher the temperature. That is because when the fan frequency is low, longer time is
given for the air to stay at the heater, which makes the air flows in a higher
temperature. In contrast, when the fan frequency is high, the air flows very fast and
the time for it to stay at the heater is shorter, this result a lower temperature of hot air
to flow inside the humidity measuring bench.

Conclusion:

In this experiment, it is realised that to find the percentage of relative humidity using
psychrometric chart, dry bulb and wet bulb temperature are the most important
parameters. Without these two temperatures, percentage of relative humidity cannot
be found. It is also understand that the air flow rate or the fan frequency will influence
the air flow temperature. For low temperature measurements, the lower the air flow
rate, the lower the air flow temperature and vice-versa. Meanwhile for high
temperature measurements, the lower the air flow rate, the higher the air flow
temperature and vice-versa.

References:

1. Dry and Web Bulb Temperature (Online)


Available: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychrometrics

2. Humidity In Industry (Online)


Available: http://www.articlesnatch.com/Article/Why-Humidity-Measurement-
Is- So-Important-To-Industry/1460743
3. How Humidity is Expressed (Online)
Available: http://daphne.palomar.edu/jthorngren/measures.htm
4. What is Condensation (Online)
Available: http://www.ace.mmu.ac.uk/eae/weather/older/condensation.html
5. Humidity (Online)
Available: http://www.weatheronline.co.uk/reports/wxfacts/Humidity.htm