(19)
(11)EP 3 187 419 A1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT APPLICATION

(43)Date of publication:
05.07.2017 Bulletin 2017/27

(21)Application number: 15382679.7

(22)Date of filing:  30.12.2015
(51)Int. Cl.: 
B64D 13/08  (2006.01)
B64D 13/06  (2006.01)
B64F 1/36  (2017.01)
(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR
Designated Extension States:
BA ME
Designated Validation States:
MA MD

(71)Applicant: Airbus Operations S.L.
28906 Getafe (ES)

(72)Inventor:
  • CASADO MONTERO, Carlos
    E-28906 Getafe, Madrid (ES)

(74)Representative: ABG Patentes, S.L. 
Avenida de Burgos, 16D Edificio Euromor
28036 Madrid
28036 Madrid (ES)

  


(54)AIR CONDITIONING SYSTEM


(57) Air conditioning system (1) for a cabin (6) of an aircraft, the air conditioning system (1) comprising a pressurized air source (2), a ram air duct (3), an air amplifier (4) and a heat exchanger (5). The air amplifier (4) comprises an inlet (41) for work air, a slot (42) suitable for letting the work air exit the air amplifier, and a main fluid zone (43). The inlet (41) is in fluid communication with the pressurized air source (2) and the slot (42) is arranged in fluid communication with the ram air duct (3), in such a way that the work air exiting from the slot (42) produces a suction effect in the ambient air in such a way that this ambient air flows along the ram air duct (3). The air amplifier (4) is arranged so that the ambient air is forced by the suction effect to pass from the inlet (51) to the outlet (52) of the cold side of the heat exchanger (5).




Description

TECHNICAL FIELD OF THE INVENTION



[0001] The present invention is related to the field of aircraft systems, in particular to the field of air conditioning systems.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION



[0002] The cabin of a modern passenger aircraft is air-conditioned usually both when the aircraft is flying and is on the ground by means of the aircraft's own air conditioning system. The aircraft air conditioning system is supplied with pressurized bleed air which is taken from an engine compressor, the Auxiliary Power Unit compressor or by an external source.

[0003] This air passes through one or several heat exchangers in order to cool it to a desired low temperature. The conditioned air is then properly treated and introduced in the cabin at the proper temperature and pressure.

[0004] For the working of this kind of air conditioning system in the state of art, some cooling air needed to reduce the temperature of the air obtained in the compressor or the APU and in the following air compression steps within the air conditioning system. This cooling air was usually obtained from the ambient air. However, in some conditions (usually on ground), the ambient air speed is zero or almost zero. This ambient air speed is not sufficient to allow the moving of the air along the heat exchanging system, in order to reduce the temperature of the compressed or pressurized air. For this purpose, it is usual to install a fan, which is usually driven by the own air conditioning system. However, this fan is a main noise source when the aircraft is parked and the Environmental Control System (ECS) is running.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION



[0005] The present invention provides the air conditioning system according to claim 1 and an aircraft according to claim 10 as an alternative solution to the aforementioned problem. All the features described in this specification, including the claims, description and drawings, can be combined in any way, except for the cases of mutually exclusive features. The dependent claims define preferred embodiments of the invention.

[0006] According to a first aspect, the invention provides an air conditioning system for a cabin of an aircraft, the air conditioning system comprising:

a pressurized air source which, when in its air operative mode, provides work air with a pressure higher than 60 kPa; and when in its air ground mode, provides work air with a pressure higher than 100 kPa;

a ram air duct, in fluid connection with ambient air, comprising a first cross section where a boundary of the first cross section is defined;

an air amplifier comprising an inlet for work air, a slot suitable for letting the work air exit the air amplifier, and a main fluid zone, the inlet being in fluid communication with the pressurized air source and the slot being arranged in fluid communication with the ram air duct, in such a way that the work air exiting from the slot produces a suction effect in the ambient air in such a way that this ambient air flows along the ram air duct;

an air distribution and control system, with an inlet and an outlet;

a heat exchanger with a cold side and a hot side, the cold side comprising an inlet and an outlet and the hot side comprising an inlet and an outlet; wherein the air amplifier is arranged so that the ambient air is forced by the suction effect to pass from the inlet to the outlet of the cold side of the heat exchanger;

wherein the outlet of the hot side of the heat exchanger being suitable for being in fluid communication with one inlet of the air distribution and control system, at least one outlet of which is in turn in fluid communication with the cabin.



[0007] This air conditioning system according to the invention is able to use the ambient air when the aircraft is on ground, despite in this conditions the air speed may be zero or almost zero.

[0008] In the context of this application, it will be understood that the air operative mode of the pressurized air source refers to the mode when the aircraft is in flight.

[0009] In a particular embodiment, the air amplifier is arranged in the first cross section of the ram air duct upstream the inlet of the cold side of the heat exchanger.

[0010] This particular configuration of the air conditioning system provides a better efficiency in the operation of the air amplifier.

[0011] In a particular embodiment, the slot is arranged in the boundary of the first cross section.

[0012] In a particular embodiment, the slot is arranged at a certain distance from the boundary of the first cross section.

[0013] This particular configuration of the air conditioning system allows air to enter the system both in the main fluid zone and outside the main fluid zone, thus improving the air feeding under certain conditions.

[0014] In a particular embodiment, the slot is continuous. In another particular embodiment, the slot comprises discontinuities.

[0015] In a particular embodiment, the air amplifier is arranged downstream the inlet of the cold side of the heat exchanger.

[0016] In this particular configuration of the air conditioning system, the hot air used to operate the air amplifier is not mixed with the ambient air used to cool the work air, so the cooling power of the ambient air is greater.

[0017] In a particular embodiment, the pressurized air source is one of at least an APU or a bleed duct from one or several engine compressors. In other embodiments, the pressurized air source is an air compressor or comes from a pressurized air ground connection.

[0018] In a particular embodiment, the pressurized air source is also configured to provide air to the inlet of the hot side of the heat exchanger.

[0019] In a particular embodiment, the heat exchanger is comprised in an air cycling machine which further comprises at least a turbine, a compressor and a secondary heat exchanger.

[0020] In a second inventive aspect, the invention provides an aircraft comprising an air conditioning system according to any embodiment of the first inventive aspect.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS



[0021] These and other characteristics and advantages of the invention will be clearly understood in view of the detailed description of the invention and further in view of the preferred embodiments of the invention, with reference to the drawings. Preferred embodiments are given just as examples and are not intended to limit the scope of the present invention.
Figure 1
This figure shows a side view of a first embodiment of an air conditioning system according to the invention.
Figure 2
This figure shows a detail view of the air amplifier of an air conditioning system according to the invention.
Figure 3
This figure shows a general view of an alternative arrangement for a particular embodiment of an air conditioning system according to the invention.
Figures 4a-4d
These figures show different alternatives for the first cross section of the ram air duct.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION



[0022] Having outlined the object of the invention, specific non-limitative embodiments are described hereinafter.

[0023] Figure 1 shows a general view of a particular embodiment of an air conditioning system (1) for a cabin (6) of an aircraft. This air conditioning system (1) comprises:

a pressurized air source (2);

a ram air duct (3), in fluid connection with ambient air, comprising a first cross section where a boundary of the first cross section is defined;

an air amplifier (4)

an air distribution and control system (7), with an inlet (71) and an outlet (72);

a heat exchanger (5) with a cold side and a hot side, the cold side comprising an inlet (51) and an outlet (52) and the hot side comprising an inlet (53) and an outlet (54);

wherein the air amplifier (4) is arranged so that the ambient air is forced by the suction effect to pass from the inlet (51) to the outlet (52) of the cold side of the heat exchanger (5);
wherein the outlet (54) of the hot side of the heat exchanger (5) being suitable for being in fluid communication with the inlet (71) of the air distribution and control system (7), the outlet (72) of which is in turn in fluid communication with the cabin (6).

[0024] In this embodiment, the pressurized air source (2) is one of APU or a bleed duct from one or several engine compressors. In this way, pressurized air is obtained to operate the air conditioning system (1) of the invention. In other embodiments, the pressurized air source is an air compressor or comes from a pressurized air ground connection.

[0025] The pressurized air source (2) provides air which needs to be at a higher pressure than the ambient air, whatever ambient pressure is.

[0026] When the aircraft is on cruise mode, the pressurized air source (2) is in its air operative mode, and hence provides work air with a pressure higher than 60 kPa. This pressure is enough to operate the air amplifier (4) in these conditions.

[0027] But when the aircraft is on ground, ambient pressure is higher, and work air is needed at a higher pressure. As a consequence, the pressurized air source (2) works in its air ground mode, and provides work air with a pressure higher than 100 kPa. This way of operation is similar when the aircraft is at low altitude with low speed, when the air may enter the ram air duct (3) with some speed but an additional pressure difference may be needed to be supplied by the air amplifier (4).

[0028] In this figure, the pressurized air source (2) is also configured to provide air to the inlet (53) of the hot side of the heat exchanger (5).

[0029] In this figure, the heat exchanger (5) is comprised in an air cycling machine (15) which further comprises at least a turbine, a compressor and a secondary heat exchanger.

[0030] In this figure, the air amplifier (4) is arranged in the first cross section of the ram air duct (3) upstream the inlet of the cold side of the heat exchanger.

[0031] Figure 2 shows a detail view of the air amplifier (4). In this figure, it the air amplifier (4) comprises an inlet (41) for work air, a slot (42) suitable for letting the work air exit the air amplifier, and a main fluid zone (43). The inlet (41) is in fluid communication with the pressurized air source (2), thus receiving the work air from it, and the slot (42) which receives the work air exhausts this work air in the ram air duct (3). The slot (42) is arranged in such a way that the work air exiting from the slot (42) produces a suction effect in the ambient air in such a way that this ambient air flows along the ram air duct (3). In this figure, this suction effect is caused because the slot (42) makes the work air flow by a surface which accelerates it, and consequently makes its pressure lower. This generates an underpressure which produces the suction effect in the ambient air, making it enter the ram air duct (3).

[0032] Figure 3 shows a general view of an alternative arrangement for a particular embodiment of an air conditioning system (1) according to the invention. In this alternative arrangement, the air amplifier (4) is arranged downstream the inlet (51) of the cold side of the heat exchanger (5).

[0033] Figures 4a-4d show different alternatives for the first cross section of the ram air duct. In each alternative, the slot (42) of the air amplifier is arranged in different ways at the first cross section of the ram air duct (3).

[0034] Figure 4a shows the first cross section of the ram air duct, where the slot (42) is arranged in the boundary of the first cross section. In such a configuration, the main fluid zone (43) is a closed area which substantially coincides with the area of the first cross section of the ram air duct (3).

[0035] Figure 4b shows the first cross section of the ram air duct, where the slot (42) is arranged at a certain distance from the boundary of the first cross section. In such a configuration, the main fluid zone (43) is a closed area which is smaller than the area of the first cross section of the ram air duct (3).

[0036] In these two embodiments, shown in figures 4a-4b, the slot (42) is continuous. But in figures 4c-4d, the slot (42) comprises discontinuities. Figure 4c shows an embodiment which is similar to the one shown in Figure 4b, but the slot (42) comprising discontinuities. Figure 4d shows an embodiment which is similar to the one shown in Figure 4a, but the slot (42) comprising discontinuities.


Claims

1. Air conditioning system (1) for a cabin (6) of an aircraft, the air conditioning system (1) comprising:

a pressurized air source (2) which, when in its air operative mode, provides work air with a pressure higher than 60 kPa; and when in its air ground mode, provides work air with a pressure higher than 100 kPa;

a ram air duct (3), in fluid connection with ambient air, comprising a first cross section where a boundary of the first cross section is defined;

an air amplifier (4) comprising an inlet (41) for work air, a slot (42) suitable for letting the work air exit the air amplifier, and a main fluid zone (43), the inlet (41) being in fluid communication with the pressurized air source (2) and the slot (42) being arranged in fluid communication with the ram air duct (3), in such a way that the work air exiting from the slot (42) produces a suction effect in the ambient air in such a way that this ambient air flows along the ram air duct (3);

an air distribution and control system (7), with an inlet (71) and an outlet (72);

a heat exchanger (5) with a cold side and a hot side, the cold side comprising an inlet (51) and an outlet (52) and the hot side comprising an inlet (53) and an outlet (54);

wherein the air amplifier (4) is arranged so that the ambient air is forced by the suction effect to pass from the inlet (51) to the outlet (52) of the cold side of the heat exchanger (5); wherein the outlet (54) of the hot side of the heat exchanger (5) being suitable for being in fluid communication with one inlet (71) of the air distribution and control system (7), at least one outlet (72) of which is in turn in fluid communication with the cabin (6).
 
2. Air conditioning system (1) according to claim 1, wherein the air amplifier (4) is arranged in the first cross section of the ram air duct (3) upstream the inlet of the cold side of the heat exchanger.
 
3. Air conditioning system (1) according to claim 2, wherein the slot (42) is arranged in the boundary of the first cross section.
 
4. Air conditioning system (1) according to claim 2, wherein the slot (42) is arranged at a certain distance from the boundary of the first cross section.
 
5. Air conditioning system (1) according to any of claims 3 or 4, wherein the slot (42) is continuous.
 
6. Air conditioning system (1) according to any of claims 3 or 4, wherein the slot (42) comprises discontinuities.
 
7. Air conditioning system (1) according to claim 1, wherein the air amplifier (4) is arranged downstream the inlet (51) of the cold side of the heat exchanger (5).
 
8. Air conditioning system (1) according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the pressurized air source (2) is one of at least an APU or a bleed duct from one or several engine compressors or an air compressor or a pressurized air ground connection.
 
9. Air conditioning system (1) according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the pressurized air source (2) is also configured to provide air to the inlet (53) of the hot side of the heat exchanger (5).
 
10. Air conditioning system (1) according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the heat exchanger (5) is comprised in an air cycling machine (15) which further comprises at least a turbine, a compressor and a secondary heat exchanger.
 
11. Aircraft comprising an air conditioning system (1) according to any of the preceding claims.
 




Drawing