The aim of this project is to develop and set up a new design for air conditioning systems. One of the technologies used for large air conditioning systems, is the storage of ice enclosed in plastic balls. Those ice balls have a special design so that they can expand during the freezing of water into ice. They are stored in large tanks containing a solution of water and glycol. One part of this solution is pushed away in an expansion vessel during the expansion stage of the balls. In the new system, the ice balls will be redesigned in order to be more rigid, and also to provide a better heat exchange rate with the outer fluid. Moreover, they will be filled with a foam that will absorb the expansion of ice. This should prevent from using a bath of water and glycol to store them, and will give rise to two major improvements: - The ice balls may be stored in dry stacking in light structure tanks. - The use of air as cooling fluid: This last innovation will simplify the design of the whole air conditioning system, using only one circuit for the cooling fluid, instead of the three circuits generally used. The aims of the project will be to optimise the material, shape and dimensions of the ice balls, to assess the feasibility of the heat exchange system, and to design the manufacturing process for the air conditioning package.
Funding SchemeEAW - Exploratory awards