Bootstrap Air Cooling and Dry Air Rated Temperature

Bootstrap Air cooling System :

Fig : 1. and fig: 2. shows the schematic of a bootstrap system, which is a modification of the simple system. As shown in the figure, this system consists of two heat exchangers (air cooler and aftercooler), in stead of one air cooler of the simple system. It also incorporates a secondary compressor, which is driven by the turbine of the cooling system. This system is suitable for high speed aircraft, where in the velocity of the aircraft provides the necessary airflow for the heat exchangers, as a result a separate fan is not required. As shown in the cycle diagram, ambient air state 1 is pressurized to state 2 due to the ram effect. This air is further compressed to state 3 in the main compressor. The air is then cooled to state 4 in the air cooler. The heat rejected in the air cooler is absorbed by the ram air at state 2. The air from the air cooler is further compressed from state 4 to state 5 in the secondary compressor. It is then cooled to state 6 in the after cooler, expanded to cabin pressure in the cooling turbine and is supplied to the cabin at a low temperature T7. Since the system does not consist of a separate fan for driving the air through the heat exchangers, it is not suitable for ground cooling. However, in general ground cooling is normally done by an external air conditioning system as it is not efficient to run the aircraft engine just to provide cooling when it is grounded.

Figure : 1. Boot strap System

Other modifications over the simple system are: regenerative system and reduced ambient system. In a regenerative system, a part of the cold air from the cooling turbine is used for pre-cooling the air entering the turbine. As a result much lower temperatures are obtained at the exit of the cooling turbine, however, this is at the expense of additional weight and design complexity. The cooling turbine drives a fan similar to the simple system. The regenerative system is good for both ground cooling as well as high speed air-crafts. The reduced ambient system is well-suited for supersonic air-crafts and rockets.

Figure : 2. Schematic Bootstrap T-s Diagram

Dry Air Rated Temperature :

The concept of Dry Air Rated Temperature is used to compare different aircraft refrigeration cycles. Dry Air Rated Temperature is defined as the temperature of the air at the exit of the cooling turbine in the absence of moisture condensation. For condensation not to occur during expansion in turbine, the dew point temperature and hence moisture content of the air should be very low, i.e., the air should be very dry. The aircraft refrigeration systems are rated based on the mass flow rate of air at the design DART. The cooling capacity is then given by:

m is the mass flow rate of air, Tdart and Ti are the dry air rated temperature and cabin temperature, respectively.

A comparison between different aircraft refrigeration systems based on DART at different Mach numbers shows that:
i.) DART increases monotonically with Mach number for all the systems except the reduced ambient system
ii.) The simple system is adequate at low Mach numbers
iii.) At high Mach numbers either bootstrap system or regenerative system should be used iv. Reduced ambient temperature system is best suited for very high Mach number, supersonic air-crafts

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