16 February 2007
£800,000 for air cycle research
The UK Government is to provide £800,000 of funding to a consortium developing air cycle air conditioning technologies.
The two-year research and technology project, named New Environmental Control System Technology, or NECST, will look to develop the technology to provide a more energy efficient and environmentally-friendly alternative for planes, trains and even buildings.
Air cycle technology is not new - being available from companies such as J & E Hall in the early 1900s - but fell into disuse with the development of more efficient vapour compression systems. Air cycle machines are still very common on jet aeroplanes, where it can make use of the compressed air from the engines' compressor sections.
Adoption of air cycle air conditioning technologies in buildings is seen as a way of eliminating HFCs.
The project will develop a suite of interactive computerised design tools,
covering environmental systems, power systems, buildings and enclosures.
The project is funded with £400,000 from the DTI-led Technology Programme
and the remainder by a consortium of leading international companies, including the Building Research Establishment, Honeywell Aerospace, Goodrich, GKN Aerospace, the University of Manchester and Airbus UK.