Aircraft air conditioners come in a variety of types and sizes. Some of them are capable of providing several useful functions in addition to temperature control. The size of the aircraft and function requirements of the system are factors used to determine which air conditioner is the most appropriate for installation and use in the craft.
Aircraft Environmental Control Systems
Environmental Control Systems, also known as an ECS, provides temperature control, cabin pressurization for the aircraft passengers as well as the crew, and the air supply for everyone onboard to breathe. In addition to these vital features, cooling, fire suppression and smoke detection are also functions which are associated with these impressive systems.
Air Quality for Passenger Cabins
Due to the risk of developing fungus or bacteria in the air, the relative humidity must be kept low. This can have mildly unpleasant side effects such as drying of the nasal passages, eyes and skin, but it helps to protect against the development of condensation and contamination of the air being circulated.
Most systems use a mixture of half outside air and half filtered or recycled air for the air supply. This helps to ensure the air used is up to health standards, along with low humidity control.
Weight and Size Requirements
The type of aircraft air conditioners required is dependent upon the model of aircraft it is intended for. Commercial crafts are more strictly regulated to ensure passenger safety above all, and comfort coming in secondly. Therefore the weight of the aircraft air conditioners must be in compliance with the specifications and recommendations for the particular craft in question. The size is dictated by the same rules.
Types of Aircraft Air Conditioners
Simple Cycle Systems use a turbine and fan system on a common shaft. The heat exchanger preconditions the air and a fan draws cooling air across the heat exchanger.
2 Wheel Bootstrap Systems use a turbine and compressor on a common shaft. A secondary heat exchanger cools the outlet air, while the fan draws cooling air across the heat exchanger in ground operation.
3 Wheel Bootstrap Systems use a turbine, compressor and fan on a common shaft. The fan draws cooling air over the heat exchanger and the secondary heat exchanger cools the compressor outlet air.
Health and safety are the top priorities when selecting the most appropriate aircraft air conditioners. The larger systems serve multiple high priority functions in addition to temperature control such as cabin pressurization, humidity control and filtering of the air. For more information about aircraft air conditioners and which one would be right for you, confer with the experts found at Mercury GSE.