Physical Sciences Inc. (PSI) has been awarded a program from the U.S. Army to develop a lightweight, low-cost cooling system that will replace the existing vapor-compression cycle with an air cycle machine.
Existing ground vehicle air conditioner systems use vapor-compression cycles with R-134a or R-1234yf refrigerant. R-134a has high global warming potential and future systems are moving to R-1234yf, which is flammable, and both are toxic to humans. The Army needs to improve crew safety and reduce global warming potential for future vehicles. To address these needs, PSI’s Air-Cycle Cabin Cooling system will provide up to 15 kWth of cooling to ground vehicle cabins and will immediately reduce risk for warfighters in tactical and combat vehicles by removing flammable materials from onboard the vehicles and provide appropriate ventilation and crew thermal management.
The air machine’s simplicity and robustness will ensure years of low-maintenance operation and crew comfort.
In this program, PSI will develop a family of air machine cooling systems for use on tactical and combat vehicles. The systems will use the same architecture with different-sized components for each application. While the initial device will focus on Army platforms, it can be easily adapted to passenger and commercial vehicles, opening up a large commercial market. Practically every new car sold in the US has a vapor-compression air conditioner system. PSI’s system could potentially replace these vapor-compression air conditioners, which will have a tremendous positive impact on global health by replacing millions of gallons of R-134a and R-1234yf refrigerants each year.
For more information, contact:
Dr. Sean Torrez
Area Manager, Deployable Technologies
Physical Sciences Inc.
Telephone: (978) 689-0003