|The advantages of air cycle technology compared
with convention vapour compression refrigeration systems include:
The principal reason why air cycle technology has not been widely used
outside the aerospace sector is its perceived poor energy efficiency compared
with conventional vapour compression refrigeration systems. However, recent
studies by BRE and FRPERC have shown that improvements to turbine machinery,
coupled with the fact that air cycle cooling systems can provide high grade
heat recovery, mean that air cycle systems can be competitive with vapour
compression systems in buildings that require simultaneous heating and
cooling. When used for train air conditioning air cycle systems have
been shown to have lower overall life cycle costs than vapour compression
systems due to the air cycle's higher reliability, reduced maintenance
requirements, and no need for refrigerant handling infrastructure.
air as refrigerant instead of chemical refrigerants such as CFCs, HCFCs
or HFCs. (All chemical refrigerants are environmentally harmful).
for higher reliability and lower maintenance costs:
components & components can be replaced quickly without the need for
to leakage (automatic air top-up).
need for refrigerant recovery or handling equipment.
need for certified refrigeration engineers or handlers.
to extreme operating temperatures (vapour compression systems can fail
or trip-out during exceptionally hot weather).