An indirect evaporative cooler for cooling inlet supply air from a first temperature to a second, lower temperature using a stream of liquid coolant and a stream of exhaust or purge air. The cooler includes a first flow channel for inlet supply air and a second flow channel adjacent the first for exhaust air. The first and second flow channels are defined in part by sheets of a membrane permeable to water vapor such that mass is transferred as a vapor through the membrane from the inlet supply air to a contained liquid desiccant for dehumidification and also to the exhaust air as heat is transferred from the inlet supply air to the liquid coolant. A separation wall divides the liquid desiccant and the coolant but allows heat to be transferred from the supply air to the coolant which releases water vapor to the counter or cross flowing exhaust air.
The United States Government has rights in this invention under Contract No. DE-AC36-99GO10337 between the United States Department of Energy and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, a Division of the Midwest Research Institute.