12th International Conference on Compressors and their Systems

Conference agenda

Conference Agenda

Keynote Lectures

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 30years 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.

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 inpart 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.

R.Z. Wang, Institute of Refrigeration and Cryogenics, Shanghai Jiao Tong University

Title: Heat Pump and its Role on Carbon Neutral Target

The world is facing carbon neutral in the middle of this century, carbon neutral does not mean zero carbon emission, it means carbon emission could be absorbed by carbon sink. It is clear that the world will be more powered by renewable energy (50% or more in 2050), electrification would be affordable and accessible and could be extended its applications.

Fossil fuel should be treated for less CO2 emission by increasing energy conversion efficiency, and wide uses of heat recovery devices to use low grade heat both from waste heat or solar heat or even from the ambient becomes vital. Heating and cooling are the most demanded energy for end users, such as buildings, industries and also transportations, heat pump is truly the most effective equipment for decarbonization.

This report will present:

  1. Heat pumps based on electric vapor compression systems: air source heat pump water heater, air source heat pump heating and cooling for residential and commercial buildings, other various low grade heat source heat pump (such as ground source, water source and etc..), waste heat recovery heat pump for industry heating;
  2. Heat pump based on thermal driven systems: LiBr-water and water-ammonia absorption heat pumps for efficient waste heat recovery for industry application, and solar cooling;
  3. Chemical heat pumps based on thermal energy for heating, cooling, thermal energy upgrading, and thermal storage;
  4. Next generation heat pumps for air conditioning with coupled sensible and latent thermal load handling, its doubled efficiency for heating and cooling could be applied in residential/commercial/transportation heating and cooling;
  5. Air source heat pump or waste heat recovery heat pump for steam generation, which may bring a new feasible way to use electrified heat pump to replace small to medium scale fossil fuel based or electric heated boilers.

Heating/cooling decarbonization is a major challenge for China to meet its 2060 carbon neutral commitment, heat pump represents a promising solution for heat/cold supply in various building and industry applications.

Our results reveal that the decarbonization potential from heat pump in a carbon neutral China future could reach around 1400Mton and 600Mton for residential and industrial heating respectively, which add to 20% current carbon emission in China.

It is also shown that achieving such deep decarbonization of heat pump requires ad-hoc interventions that balance technology advancement, techno economics, policy incentive, and integrated short-term and long-term decision making. This research has shown that heat pump could play a key role in carbon neutral target.

About the author

WANG Ruzhu (R. Z. Wang), born in Dec.1964, graduated from Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) in 1984, 1987 and 1990 for his bachelor, master and PhD degrees. He was promoted as associate professor in 1992, full professor in 1994 at SJTU.

He has written 10 Books and about 600 co-authored international journal papers and more than 100 patents, his ISI h index is 72. He is a leading scientist in heat pumps, CCHPs, solar heating and cooling, and green building energy systems. He has won Chinese National Research Awards in 2010 and 2014 respectively.

Prof. Wang received the J & E Hall International Gold Medal from the Institute of Refrigeration (UK) in 2013, Asia Refrigeration Academic Award in 2017, the Nukiyama Memorial Award from the Japanese Society of Heat Transfer in 2018, the IIR-Gustav Lorentzen Medal from the International Institute of Refrigeration in 2019. He was honored to be the Clarivate Highly Cited Researcher in 2017 and 2018 respectively.

He had been appointed as the director of Institute of Refrigeration and Cryogenics of SJTU since 1993. Currently he is also the Director- Engineering Research Center of Solar Energy, MOE China, Vice dean of SJTU Energy Institute. His research group has awarded as Excellent Innovative Team of Energy Research from MOST China in 2014 and NSFC in 2015.

Prof. Wang is currently the Deputy editor-in-chief of Energy, Regional editor-International Journal of Refrigeration.

Dr Billy Milligan BEng(Hons) MSc PhD CEng MInstMC MIET


Title: Compressors and Industrial Digitisation

How does a company that has been around since the first industrial revolution cope with the fourth industrial revolution? Fourth industrial revolution, Industry 4.0, big data or industrial digitisation: call it what you will, some thought it was a passing trend but it is clearly here to stay. This keynote first discusses what benefits this new era and its associated technologies are currently bringing to compressor designers, compressor manufacturers and their end-users in terms of both performance optimisation and health monitoring. It then progresses into the major factors for consideration when deploying a system that connects to remote air and gas handling assets and finally, a proposal on how this technology is going to advance in the near future is then put forward.

About the author

Dr Milligan is Solutions Development Lead at Howden and is an experienced controls and instrumentation design engineer having worked on the design, installation and testing of instrumentation and control systems used in the oil and gas sector, the water industry, bulk solids handling and rotating equipment since leaving school. He is a Chartered Control and Instrument Engineer and a member of the Institute of Measurement and Control, the Institution of Engineering and Technology and a Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Scientific Instrument Makers. His PhD topic was the design of a control system for the mitigation of vibration on variable speed screw compressor packages. He currently sits on the council within the Institute of Measurement and Control as Honorary Secretary and is also vice-chair of its Digital Transformation Special Interest Group.

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. In2018 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.

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