Analysis of a Coupling System of Aircraft Environmental Control and Fuel Tank Inerting Based on Membrane Separation
This paper raises a coupling system of aircraft environmental control and fuel tank inerting based on membrane separation. The system applies a membrane dehumidifier to replace water vapor removal unit of heat regenerator, condenser and water separator, which is widely used in conventional aircraft environmental control system (ECS) nowadays. Water vapor can travel across the membrane wall under its pressure difference without phase change, so the dehumidification process consumes no cooling capacity as traditional ECS and the cooling capacity of the new system increases. This paper first compares the thermodynamic properties of ECS based on membrane dehumidification and the traditional ECS based on condensation. The results show that the membrane dehumidification system has larger cooling capacity and lighter weight. For a given cooling capacity requirement, the membrane dehumidification system can use less bleed air since the enthalpy of the outlet air is lower.