Adiabatic and isothermal humidifiers are the two headings describing the technologies which are available when considering humidity control. Put in a more user friendly way these are cold water (evaporative or spray) and steam humidifiers.
The adiabatic humidifiers offer a solution to two possible issues. The first is humidity control which very low power consumption and the second is cooling of the air – again with very low energy consumption.
When an application requires cooling and humidity control such as in data centers, print factories, textile factories, car plants, glass houses, some office blocks and in theatres to name a few then the double benefit makes this solution the one to select. Once the process has been selected then we can move on to the technology and the choice between evaporative, high pressure water, low pressure water and rotary atomizers which all provide the adiabatic humidification but in different ways making each product best suited for particular applications based on whether you have duct work or not, high temperatures, low ceiling, short evaporation distance etc
Steam is selected when it is essential to have sterile application such as in hospitals, production facilities, climate chambers, clean rooms, Medical facilities, Pharmaceutical applications, food production, off shore accommodation blocks etc the steam humidifiers are adaptable and offer great flexibility about where they can be installed, short evaporation distances and simple to install.
Temperature stability may also be a factor in some of these applications as whilst the convection off a steam pipe may add temperature to the process the steam evaporating into the airflow does not. In addition the air does not have to be pre or reheated after the moisture has been added if cooling is not required which is the case with the adiabatic systems and should be considered when looking at the whole system energy consumption.