Desiccant cooling has become a well established technology in most parts of the world, especially recently in Turkey. The increased growth of the technology was caused by the contribution of refrigerants used in conventional cooling systems to the depletion of the ozone layer. This technology provides a tool to control humidity (moisture) levels in conditioned air spaces. In this study, a desiccant cooling system was designed, constructed and tested in Cukurova University, Adana, Turkey while it has been successfully operated since 2008. Exergy, cost, energy and mass (EXCEM) analysis was applied to this system for the first time to the best of the authors' knowledge. The relations between thermodynamic losses and capital costs were also parametrically investigated and illustrated in figures. Based on the overall system (OS) results, some components of the whole system, namely the electric heater unit, the expansion valve, the pump, the fresh air fan and the condenser fan were obtained to be inefficient. Particularly, the electric heater unit was important as its exergy loss rate ((R) over dot(ex)) value was 29.36 times greater than that of the OS. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.