A1 : Cryophysics & cryoengineering
Cryophysics and Cryoengineering are very important parts of contemporary research and are needed for all activities performed in the temperature range from (almost) absolute zero to 120 kelvin.
They play a major role across many branches of knowledge, e.g. from nanoscale to macroscale world or from land to space applications. We cannot imagine certain electron microscopy or in atomic force microscopy techniques without cryogenics. MRI scanners and many spacecrafts require very low temperatures for their proper functioning. The world’s largest accelerator at CERN would, without cryogenics, only be a giant mass of useless material. Many other examples could be mentioned in connection with cryogenics and their number is permanently rising.
Therefore, Cryophysics and Cryoengineering are essential areas of science and have a great potential to be very useful in many areas, now and in the future.
A2 : Liquefaction & separation of gases
The IIR commission A2 “Liquefaction and separation of gases” mainly deals with activities in the domain of gas separation and liquefaction by cryogenic technology.
Apart from the personal commitment of its members to various projects, the commission is present at conferences, workshops and seminars: LNG International Exhibition and Conference, GASTECH, Cryogenics, Cryogen Expos, European Course of Cryogenics and others. In addition, the commission A2 also links interdisciplinary fields through fundamental and applied research as well as technical innovation, which are indispensable for addressing global concerns and challenges in both the short and long term.
Obviously, intensive effort is still needed and we welcome submissions to ICR 2023 to push forward research and development in this field.
B1 : Thermodynamics and Transfer Processes
Thermodynamics and Transfer Processes of working fluids are the pillars of the HVAC&R systems. In order to reduce the carbon emissions from the HVAC&R systems, we need to improve the thermodynamic and transport processes and shift to working fluids with lower environmental impacts.
With this background, we are interested in the following topics:
- Thermodynamic analysis of advanced cycles
- Thermophysical properties of working fluids
- Thermo-hydraulic performance of working fluids
- Next-generation working fluids with lower environment impact
- Next-generation heat exchangers and compressors
- Optimization and enhancement of components and equipment
- Charge distribution and reduction
- Life Cycle Climate Performance (LCCP) evaluation
B2 : Refrigerating equipment
A refrigeration system consists of various equipment and components such as compressors, condensers, evaporators, cooling towers, expansion devices, ejectors, manifolds, fans, phase separators, pipes, sensors, etc.
The use of new environmentally friendly working fluids and the need to enhance energy efficiency require improvements in the analysis and design of equipment and components.
Commission B2 (Refrigerating equipment) focuses on the scientific aspects of equipment and components as well as on advanced manufacturing technologies.
C1 : Cryobiology, cryomedicine & health products
C2 : Food science & engineering
Food refrigeration faces several tremendous challenges in the context of climate change and the growing population on earth. Food refrigeration covers chilling for short term preservation and freezing for long term preservation.
More than ever, research and innovation are needed and the upcoming ICR will provide opportunities to explore the most recent tracks. Among them, enhancing conventional processes or developing non-conventional processes to improve food quality and better preserve the initial quality of food remain essential, especially when energy consumption appears as a growing constraint. Understanding food degradation during storage is also of ultimate importance, as well as innovation in the area of storage supervision accommodating the implementation of products metabolism (fruits, vegetables), biochemical reactions (enzymatic, oxidation…), biological evolution (i.e. microbial contamination) and structure/texture (ice crystal coarsening, structure collapse, etc.).
In such a context, ICR will be a unique opportunity for food scientists, food engineers developing equipment and the food industry to meet and learn from each other to develop a sustainable and resilient food cold chain.
D1 : Refrigerated storage
Cold storage has an important role to play in the move towards carbon neutrality and therefore in the fight against global warming.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers are eating more meals at home and the demand for safe, tasty and food-waste reducing frozen foods is increasing. In this context, expectations are high for cold storage technologies.
Commission D1 discusses the latest technologies such as components, cycles, freezing methods, controls and cold chains related to freezers, refrigerators and display cabinets.
D2 : Refrigerated transport
Transport refrigeration is a key-link in the cold chain, for products safety and quality. It involves numerous means, occurs many times during the life of goods and faces the most heterogeneous boundary conditions.
The sector is in continuous growth, then research for meeting sustainability goals is welcome. Improved insulation, TES, heat recovery and renewables can reduce the energy demand or the peak requirement; energy efficiency of the units must be drastically increased; sustainable refrigerants are necessary to avoid direct impact on the environment and human health in the long term.
Road transport refrigeration needs also to drastically reinvent its relation with the vehicle, due to the increasing electrification of the traction sector. Finally, IoT and ML are gaining relevance to assure proper control, supervision, tracking and maintenance over the whole cold chain.
E1 : air conditioning
Air conditioning is the most important technology for ensuring thermal comfort and human health, as well as for creating an indoor environment for manufacturing processes.
The demand for air conditioning is growing rapidly, especially in the light of climate change. New ideas to use low-grade energy, in particular natural energy and waste heat, renewable energy and low-GWP refrigerants for air conditioning will determine whether the goal of carbon neutrality can be achieved in the sector of air conditioning. The integration between the design, construction and operation of air conditioning systems, as well as big data, AI etc. may provide new opportunities for next-generation air conditioning systems.
All research and innovations in these directions are particularly welcome.
E2 : heat pumps & energy recovery
Heat pumps are a key technology for decarbonising the heating sector in buildings and industrial settings.
Moreover, the current geopolitical energy landscape and the high price of fossil fuels are accelerating the demand for heat pumps and putting pressure on heat pump suppliers/manufacturers, users and utility companies and their infrastructures. The potential heat-pumping applications cover a wide range of temperature levels and heating capacities. Such applications include, but are not limited to, space heating, domestic hot water, process heating, simultaneous heating and cooling, solar-assisted heating, thermal energy storage and excess heat recovery. However, challenges exist.
Meeting these challenges requires innovation and R&D for heat pumps to deliver heat at high temperatures, operate efficiently with large temperature lifts, be readily integrated into industrial processes and district heating and cooling networks, and address digitalization, control and a myriad of issues associated with advanced electronics.