IHI takes step closer to cleaner electric air travel with world’s first air-cooling system for aircraft electronics, says GlobalData

Following the news that Tokyo-based IHI Corporation has successfully evaluated the testing of the world’s first air-cooling system for 100kW-class high power electronics onboard aircraft;

Mathew George, Ph.D., Aerospace & Defense Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers his view:

“The system aims at optimization of an aircraft’s total energy management and a technological innovation towards the reduction of aviation CO2 emissions. These steps are part of the innovative steps the industry is developing towards further efficiency and a smaller carbon footprint. We should remember this announcement comes less than two months after announcing the development of an electric motor that could be fit inside the tail-end of an aircraft’s jet engine that produces 250kW power. That system was also aimed at reducing emissions and ensuring no loss of power with the aim of a future electrified aircraft. 

“IHI leads More Electric Architecture for Aircraft and Propulsion (MEAAP) and suggests that it tries to achieve total aircraft energy optimization and reduction of CO2 emissions with focus on system safety and efficiency and volume and weight reduction. This idea works well with this development as it reduces the troubles that liquid coolants, coolant pumps, tanks heat exchangers bring to the equation, including the careful handling of the liquid during maintenance.

“The system allows to deal with localized power units and reduce the temperature by using a compact electric motor-driven blower and a heat sink to reduce localized high temperatures. This blower, in combination with the cabin air management system, uses exhaust cabin air which is expelled, leading to further savings in energy consumption.

“These are interesting developments for the aviation industry that has enough troubles presently. But slowly, these should help it with emissions and efficiency and bring significant saving to the bottom line and the planet. Even then, IHI is only expecting its MEAAP concept to be out by 2030, so there’s a lot for these technologies to develop and mature by then. So there’s a lot of excitement and learning left for the industry.”

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