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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/P032052/1
Title: LAir Dearman Engine for Power and Cooling in Confined Spaces
Principal Investigator: Al-Dadah, Dr R
Other Investigators:
Dearn, Professor KD Tsolakis, Professor A
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Mechanical Engineering
Organisation: University of Birmingham
Scheme: Technology Programme
Starts: 01 April 2017 Ends: 31 March 2018 Value (£): 149,348
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Energy Efficiency
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
The project will deliver a cost-effective zero emission system for power and cooling in confined spaces, by adapting the cutting-edge Dearman Engine (DE), a Rankine-cycle expander currently powered by liquid nitrogen (LN2) to utilize liquid air. The use of LAir instead of LN2 provides very attractive proposition for Dearman given its availability, simpler production

process but most importantly its safety features that will expand the use of Dearman engine into new applications like warehouses, mines and large buildings. However, when Air is liquefied it separates to its elements, O2 and N2, this is expected to affect the Dearman engine operation and performance, but most importantly raises health and safety concerns

as pure O2 and pure N2 can be deadly to humans. The ability to understand and control the behavior of LAir throughout the delivery system (tank to engine) is of paramount importance to achieve safe and efficient LAir engine. The University of Birmingham in collaboration with Dearman will develop a LAir driven Dearman engine and correlate its performance with LAir composition and properties from storage to exhaust.

The University of Birmingham will lead the work packages associated with the development of the LAir delivery system and assessment of the engine performance. This work involves:

1- Develop LAir test facility consisting of LN2, LO2 and LAir storage tanks, pump, heat exchanger and the valves/piping system. Such test rig will be instrumented with temperature and pressure sensors, flow meter and composition sensors at intermediate stages between each major component.

2- Carry out extensive CFD simulation and experiments to develop tools to predict boil off and oxygen enrichment rates throughout the LAir delivery system from the storage tank to the engine inlet.

3- Investigate through simulation and experimentation the Liquid air vaporization process through the heat exchanger (external to the engine) to characterize the exit conditions in terms of constituents, temperature, pressure before entering the Dearman engine. Work also includes assessing the effect of HEF fluid thermal properties on the heat exchanger performance.

4- Investigate the effect of the LAir composition on the engine performance and the composition of the mixture at the engine exhaust. The optimum N2/O2 mixtures, based on engine power outputs, durability and stability (i.e. coefficient of variations of IMEP and peak pressure), will be identified. This work will also assess the LAir and HEF economy and as well

as will highlight any engine operability problems that may arise, over a range of speed-load conditions.
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.bham.ac.uk