Heat Exchanger Fouling Detection in Aircraft Environmental Control Systems
The operating environment of aircraft causes accumulation and build-up of contamination on both the narrowest passages of the ECS (Environmental Control System) i.e: the heat exchangers. Accumulated contamination may lead to reduction of performance over time, and in some case to failures causing AOG (Aircraft on Ground), customer dissatisfaction and elevated repair costs. Airframers/airlines eschew fixed maintenance cleaning intervals because of the high cost of removing and cleaning these devices preferring instead to rely on on-condition maintenance. In addition, on-wing cleaning is t impractical because of installation constrains. Hence, it is desirable to have a contamination monitoring that could alert the maintenance crew in advance to prepare and minimize disruption when contamination levels exceed acceptable thresholds. Two methods are proposed to achieve this task, The effectiveness of these methods are demonstrated using analytical and computational tools.