SAN ANTONIO -- H.E. Butt Grocery Co. here will install a combination desiccant-based dehumidification/air conditioning system to control the humidity and the temperature at its new store in Monterrey, Mexico, opening in early 1998.
This new combination system combines two functions in one mechanical unit. Humidity zoning provides dry air to the refrigerated product area as the target zone. Air conditioning is used to maintain temperatures in the rest of the store.
Such a system is needed because the store's design, which does not use vestibules, will allow large amounts of hot, humid outside air into the store.
This happened in H-E-B's other Monterrey store in Chipinque, which opened last February, said Mike Malone, manager of engineering at H-E-B.
"We want our stores to be open and inviting from the parking lot to the store," said Malone. "So we have to deal with that on the mechanical side with extra air conditioning or special considerations for dehumidification."
To achieve these objectives, the system has two air streams, each directed to a different area, which allows for different zoning effects.
About 80% of the air stream is directed toward the general merchandise area, which is cooled through conventional cooling coils. The other 20% is directed toward the refrigerated display section, which is dehumidified through the desiccant wheel.
Typically, humidity zoning requires two separate pieces of equipment, a dehumidifier and an air conditioner. This is how humidity and temperature are controlled at the Chipinque store, said Malone.
He noted opting for the new desiccant-based dehumidification air conditioning system, which is from Munters Corp., Selma, Texas, allows H-E-B to install a factory-ready product at its store vs. using local contractors.