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1. WO2011010124 - AIRCRAFT FUEL TANK VENTILATION HAVING A DEHUMIDIFYING DEVICE

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[ EN ]

Claims

1. An aircraft fuel tank ventilation system, comprising a refrigerative dehumidifying device having a refrigerating element in contact with air flowing between a vent open to the atmosphere and a fuel tank.

2. A ventilation system according to claim 1, wherein the refrigerating element is a condensing cold plate.

3. A ventilation system according to claim 1 or 2, wherein the refrigerating element is connected in a refrigeration cycle to a compressor.

4. A ventilation system according to claim 3, wherein the refrigeration cycle is a single stage vapour compression cycle.

5. A ventilation system according to any of claims 2 to 4, wherein the cold plate has a plurality of ribs on its surface, the ribs being inclined with respect to the direction of the air flow.

6. A ventilation system according to any of claims 2 to 5, wherein the cold plate is one of an array of similar cold plates.

7. A ventilation system according to any preceding claim, further comprising a discharge tube adapted to pass condensate from the refrigerating element to the atmosphere.

8. A ventilation system according to claim 7, wherein the discharge tube is heated by latent heat removed from the refrigerating element and/or by a heating element.

9. A ventilation system according to any preceding claim, further comprising a temperature sensor for monitoring the temperature of the refrigerating element.

10. A ventilation system according to any preceding claim, further comprising a heating element for heating the refrigerating element.

11. A method of dehumidifying air introduced into an aircraft fuel tank via a ventilation system, the ventilation system including a vent open to the atmosphere and a refrigerative dehumidifying device having a refrigerating element, the method comprising directing atmospheric air from the vent into contact with the refrigerating element, and cooling the refrigerating element so as to remove water vapour from the air flowing from the vent towards the fuel tank by condensation.

12. A method according to claim 11, wherein the method is operated during the descent phase of an aircraft flight.

13. A method according to claim 11 or 12, wherein the refrigerating element is cooled by operating a vapour compression refrigeration cycle.

14. A method according to any of claims 11 to 13, further comprising discharging condensate from the refrigerating element to the atmosphere.

15. A method according to claim 14, wherein the discharging is driven by suction due to movement of the aircraft.

16. A method according to any of claims 11 to 15, further comprising feedback control of the refrigerating element temperature.