News Column

Patent Issued for Aircraft Supplemental Liquid Cooler and Method

February 19, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Defense & Aerospace Week -- The Boeing Company (Chicago, IL) has been issued patent number 8640469, according to news reporting originating out of Alexandria, Virginia, by VerticalNews editors.

The patent's inventor is Mackin, Steven G. (Bellevue, WA).

This patent was filed on August 8, 2011 and was published online on February 4, 2014.

From the background information supplied by the inventors, news correspondents obtained the following quote: "Transport aircraft typically include an environmental control system having one or more cooling systems for thermal management of the various systems of the aircraft. For example, an aircraft may include one or more air conditioning packs for controlling the temperature of the cabin and the cargo holds, and one or more galley chillers for temperature control of the galley carts which may contain perishable items. The aircraft may also include a power electronics cooling system (PECS) for cooling a high voltage direct current (HVDC) equipment rack of the aircraft. The HVDC may provide electrical power to various electronic components and devices on the aircraft. The PECS may circulate a cooling system fluid through the HVDC for maintaining the temperature of the HVDC within acceptable limits.

"The aircraft may include a ram air circuit that may be fluidly coupled to the PECS for cooling the cooling system fluid. Air from outside the aircraft may be drawn into one or more adjustable ram air inlets mounted to the aircraft exterior surfaces. The ram air inlets may be configured to increase the pressure of the air drawn into the ram air inlets due to forward movement of the aircraft during flight. The air may be routed across one or more ram air heat exchangers for absorbing heat from the cooling system fluid. The heated air may then be discharged from the aircraft through one or more ram air outlets.

"When the aircraft is moving at a relatively high speeds (e.g., 500-600 mph) at a cruising altitude where the ambient temperature is relatively cold (e.g., -50.degree. F.), relatively large quantities of cold air may be drawn into the ram air circuit and may absorb a relatively large quantity of heat from the cooling system fluid. When the aircraft is parked on the ground and the ambient air temperature is relatively mild, a ram air fan may be activated to draw air into the ram air inlets and across the heat exchangers for maintaining the temperature of the cooling system fluid within acceptable limits.

"However, when the ambient air temperature on the ground is relatively high, the ram air circuit may have a limited capacity for absorbing heat from the cooling system fluid. The reduced heat absorption capacity of the ram air circuit may affect the ability of the aircraft cooling systems to maintain the temperature of the HVDC, the air conditioning packs, and the galley chillers within operational limits. Although the temperature control capability of the aircraft cooling system may be improved by increasing the size of the ram air circuit, the confined space within the aircraft limits the extent to which the ram air circuit may be physically increased in size.

"As can be seen, there exists a need in the art for a system and method for cooling the various aircraft systems when the aircraft is on the ground and the ambient air temperature is relatively high."

Supplementing the background information on this patent, VerticalNews reporters also obtained the inventor's summary information for this patent: "The above-noted needs associated with aircraft cooling systems are specifically addressed and alleviated by the present disclosure which, in an embodiment, provides a deployable liquid cooler for an aircraft. The deployable liquid cooler may include a deployable heat exchanger that may be fluidly coupled to at least one heat source of the aircraft. The deployable heat exchanger may receive cooling system fluid from the heat source for circulation through the deployable heat exchanger. The deployable heat exchanger may be movable between a stowed position in an interior of the aircraft and a deployed position outside of the aircraft. The deployable heat exchanger may transfer heat of the cooling system fluid to an environment outside of the aircraft when the deployable heat exchanger is in the deployed position.

"In a further embodiment, disclosed is an aircraft which may include an interior and a deployable liquid cooler. The deployable liquid cooler may include a deployable heat exchanger that may be fluidly coupled to at least one heat source and/or cooling system of the aircraft. The deployable heat exchanger may receive cooling system fluid from the heat source and/or the cooling system for circulation through the deployable heat exchanger. The deployable heat exchanger may be movable between a stowed position in the aircraft interior and a deployed position outside of the aircraft. The deployable heat exchanger may transfer heat of the cooling system fluid to an environment outside of the aircraft when the deployable heat exchanger is in the deployed position.

"Also disclosed is a method of cooling a heat source of an aircraft having an aircraft cooling system containing a cooling system fluid. The method may include moving a deployable heat exchanger from a stowed position in an interior of the aircraft to a deployed position outside of the aircraft. The method may further include circulating the cooling system fluid through the deployable heat exchanger. In addition, the method may include absorbing heat from the deployable heat exchanger into a cooling medium. The steps may further include cooling the cooling system fluid circulation through the deployable heat exchanger in response to absorbing heat into the cooling medium.

"The features, functions and advantages that have been discussed can be achieved independently in various embodiments of the present disclosure or may be combined in yet other embodiments, further details of which can be seen with reference to the following description and drawings below."

For the URL and additional information on this patent, see: Mackin, Steven G.. Aircraft Supplemental Liquid Cooler and Method. U.S. Patent Number 8640469, filed August 8, 2011, and published online on February 4, 2014. Patent URL: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&p=123&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-bool.html&r=6127&f=G&l=50&co1=AND&d=PTXT&s1=20140204.PD.&OS=ISD/20140204&RS=ISD/20140204

Keywords for this news article include: The Boeing Company, Aerospace and Defense Companies.

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Source: Defense & Aerospace Week


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