The government is funding a consortium to help develop air-conditioning systems which are more energy efficient, cost effective and environmentally friendly for planes, high-speed and underground trains and buildings.
Adoption of aircraft-style 'air cycle' air-conditioning technologies in buildings would eliminate emissions from conventional hydro fluorocarbon, or greenhouse gases.
Air traffic is forecast to double over the next 15 to 20 years. A reduction of only 10 per cent in the fuel burn for heating and ventilating air for the 25-year lifetime of the current fleet could reduce emissions of CO2 by 14.4 megatonnes, the same energy usage as 2,526,315 homes.
The £800,000 two-year research and technology project, named New Environmental Control System Technology, or NECST, aims to create the technology needed to develop the air-conditioning systems.
The project will develop a suite of interactive computerised design tools, covering environmental systems, power systems, buildings and enclosures, which will assist in the development of the new air-conditioning technology.
The project is funded with £400,000 from the DTI-led Technology Programme and the remainder by a consortium of leading international companies in this field, including Honeywell Aerospace, BRE, Goodrich, GKN Aerospace, the University of Manchester and Airbus UK.