Dr. Andy Pearson, FIMechE
Star Refrigeration Ltd
Title: Challenges for Compressors in Heat Pump Applications
The drive to decarbonise energy use has prompted an increase in the use of heat pumps of all types and sizes. The benefit of a heat pump in this case is twofold. The “heat advantage” of the heat pump means that more energy is supplied as heat than is used in operating the system, so there is a beneficial ratio compared with burning gas, not only in emissions but also in operating cost compared to other alternatives to gas. If the heat pump is electrically driven then the carbon emission caused by the heat supply is related to the generation of the electrical power and so can be much cleaner than burning fossil fuel for direct heating.
For compressor designers and manufacturers the drive towards higher condensing temperatures in vapour compression heat pump systems presents some challenges. These include higher operating pressures, higher internal temperatures and a greater emphasis on operating efficiency and reliability. These challenges stem in part from the technical circumstances of heat pump operation but are also due to commercial and regulatory requirements.
This keynote address explores the ways in which these challenges have been tackled in the recent past and presents some notable successes in this application. It then addresses the topics that are not yet mastered and considers what development effort is still required in order to make further progress.
About the author
Dr Andy Pearson is the Group Managing Director of the UK-based industrial refrigeration contractor, Star Refrigeration Ltd. He is a fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and is active in the Institute of Refrigeration and the British Standards Institute. He is a past President of the Institute of Refrigeration and is currently President of the Institution of Engineers in Scotland.
Prof. Ian M. Arbon CEng CEn
Title: Sustainability and the Compressor Industry
Rather belatedly, the whole world has woken up to the ‘climate crisis’ that was first brought to our attention 30 years ago. This keynote address follows up on the inspiring speech by Baroness Brown, at the Gala Dinner at the 11th Conference, in highlighting the crucial importance of doing everything possible to mitigate global Climate Change. Since the 12th Conference takes place just a few weeks before the delayed COP-26 international summit in Glasgow, it is imperative that ‘sustainability’ in the compressor industry becomes a dominant feature of this Conference.
As a businessman who is both a Chartered Engineer and a Chartered Environmentalist, Ian Arbon draws on his decades of international experience in the compressor industry and in sustainable development, renewable energy and climate change mitigation/adaptation to define what is really meant by ‘sustainability’ (significantly more than so-called ‘decarbonisation’) and propose a strategy for the future development of the industry, which includes: Energy conservation / demand reduction, Energy efficiency, Sustainability of materials of construction, Sustainability of energy supplies, Sustainability of operating fluids, Sustainability of manufacturing processes.
About the author
Ian Arbon is a Chartered Mechanical Engineer, a Registered European Engineer and a Chartered Environmentalist, with an MSc in ‘Renewable Energy and the Environment’ and an MBA. Formerly MD of several UK gas compressor manufacturing companies, he now runs Engineered Solutions, a Sustainable Engineering and Management consultancy. Ian is a Fellow of IMechE; having chaired its Energy, Environment & Sustainability Group and its Renewable Power Committee, he has a long history in spearheading the Institution’s work in sustainable development; among other relevant reports, he was Lead Author of the Institution’s Reports (2009 & 2020) on ‘The Energy Hierarchy’. He is also a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), the Energy Institute, the Institute of Refrigeration and sits on the Council of the Institution of Engineers in Scotland. He has been a Visiting Professor in Alternative Energy at Newcastle University (where he taught an MSc Module on ‘Energy Policies, Politics & Ethics’, 2006-2019), an Honorary Professor in Sustainable Energy at the University of Glasgow and is currently a Visiting Professor in the Centre for Energy Policy at the University of Strathclyde.
Conference Dinner Speaker
Dr. Colin Brown
Institution of Mechanical Engineers
Title: The Engineer in Society
It is often said that many societies undervalue the contribution that engineers make to wealth and wellbeing. In 2018 the Institution of Civil Engineers ran a campaign called ‘Invisible Superheroes’ which centred on the behind the scenes status that many engineers feel they have. And yet in contrast there are cultures where engineering is seen as an aspirational vocation by both parents and children. It has high status and indeed engineers have a significant role in Government. This talk reflects on the multiple perceptions that engineering can generate including its ability to do harm as well as good. The aim is to draw out some themes that enable engineers and engineering to ensure they are always as good as they can be.
About the author
Dr Colin Brown is a Chartered Engineer with his origins in the aerospace industry. His PhD on fatigue crack growth and his subsequent work on life assessment of jet engines, and then nuclear power plant and oil and gas facilities pre-dated his most recent role as Chief Executive of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE). He is a Fellow of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining as well as the IMechE, and is a Freeman of the City of London. Stepping down from the IMechE this Summer he now focuses his work on supporting the development of the new engineering talent that is essential to meeting the challenges of a 21st century world.