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Transport - Indirect cooling of cargo transport systems


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Transport - Indirect cooling of cargo transport systems

This paper was prepared by Shane Smyth, winner of last years Ted Perry Award for student research, together with Donal Finn of University College Dublin. 

The paper describes recent findings from an experimental test programme, which assessed the technical feasibility of indirect (or secondary loop) refrgeration systems (IDX), as an alternative to direct expansion (DX) systems, for climate control in multi-temperature transport refrigeration applications. The work is framed in the context of increased market demand for multi-temperature DX systems, viz-a-viz increased environmental concerns associated with DX systems in the cargo transportation sector. IDX systems, utilising single phase secondary coolants, may offer a solution to the shortcomings of DX systems, however a number of key issues remain unaddressed. In the case of single temperature stationary systems, coolants, components and controls can be can generally be optimised on the basis of a single set-point temperature design criterion. For transport refrigeration systems, non-uniform, non-design operating conditions frequently arise, resulting in additional design and operational challenges. To examine these issues, a prototype experimental system was designed and built at University College Dublin, in collaboration with ThermoKing Ltd.

The paper describes the design details of the prototype system, the selection of components, the assessment of different secondary coolants, as well as the analysis of system performance, all with reference to ATP test specifications.