The refrigeration team at LSBU has extensive experience with air cycle refrigeration and heat-pump systems and this is now benefiting the FRISBEE project. A mathematical model of an air cycle system for combined heating and cooling has been developed and validated with previous experimental data.
It is now being used to assess the potential of this technology in food cold chain applications, and the team will go on to source and cost suitable components for the most promising applications.
Air cycle refrigeration can offer an environmental alternative to existing refrigeration systems in use in the food cold chain.
Air cycle is already used for certain niche applications like aircraft and train air conditioning (e.g. Figure 1), where it offers considerable benefits. In the food industry, air cycle compares most favourably with existing low-temperature refrigeration systems, especially where there is a need for heating
which can be served by the hightemperature heat rejected from the air cycle system.
Air cycle can also offer the potential for processing at far lower temperatures than those normally produced
by conventional vapour compression refrigeration systems, where the competition is currently limited to expensive and energy intensive total loss refrigerants such as liquid nitrogen.


Figure 1. Air cycle train air conditioning unit (Honeywell, UK)

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