With permission we reprint the concluding remarks by David Tanner, the 2007-2011 President of the Scientific and Technology Council, delivered at the occasion of the ICR 2011 closing session on Friday, August 26.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is my pleasure to provide a brief summary of the conference. I have spoken to many participants this week, and in particular those with more gray hair than me, and those who attended many more Congresses than I have. They have all said that this Congress has been equal or better than those before it, and that the organizers have done a fantastic job in getting a scientific programme of high caliber together.
The success of the Congress is also down to you; the participants and paper deliverers. I was particularly encouraged by the number of young presenters delivering high quality research. I encourage you to maintain your interest in refrigeration, and your involvement with the IIR.
Susan Roaf challenged us to acknowledge the changing role that the refrigeration industry must have to sustain a growing population and that the energy efficient systems will be required to avoid being a key contributor to future economic crises.
Lambert Kuijpers gave us an overview of the regulatory changes (and challenges) regarding refrigerants and their involvement in climate change policy development. He argued that all emissions reductions possible must be delivered. Remember “we only have one atmosphere”.
Felix Ziegler covered the topic of solar cooling and in particular, was it considered a “real” future option. He outlined his view on trends to be expected with photovoltaics, and solar thermal coolers. Stated that solar cooling is unlikely to ever be the mainstream – however, with a focus on the system engineering of solar cooling systems, this may change.
Philippe Lebrun gave a fascinating talk on quantum fluid at work. He gave us a tow through the world of quantum fluids from the early 1900’s to day, where these fluids key technologies in use for the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. I ad heard Philippe to speak a number of themes before, but still learned a lot from this talk – a truly fascinating, big-science, topic which can unlock the answers to some very big questions in the future.
Tuesday’s morning keynotes finished with Paul Singh’s talk on computational modeling for refrigeration and freezing of foods. Paul started by leading us through the historical developments that have led to the success of the global food chain. He also highlighted a number of areas of concern due to the changing face of food production and the social and economic changes having an impact on food supply. Of significant concern and need for focus is the wastage of both food and energy. Refrigeration obviously has a major role in mitigating these impacts. Computational modeling was shown as a tool to improve outcomes, in particular to ensure that we will continue to have strawberries available to us.
A finally, Dominique Bestion’s talk on the cooling issue in nuclear reactors was fascinating (by all accounts) – I could not attend due to a busy programme and competing priorities – I think it was a coup for the organizers to have such a topical issue covered, and congratulate them on “pushing the boundaries” of the traditional areas of focus.
Each of the Commission Presidents for the Congress has given me a short overview of the papers presented in their field. In the Cryophysics/Cryoengineering Commission, the focus was given to different experimental setups for verifying new ideas in Cryophysics and also to the computational modeling. In the Liquefaction and Separation of Gases field, four keynotes were given focused on recovery of rare gases, CO2 capture and storage from power plants and two on LNG technology. This active area also, in its Commission meeting, proposed the foundation of a WP on Energy Efficiency of Liquefaction Cycles.
In the Thermodynamics and Transfer processes field, the majority of the papers presented discussed properties and characteristics of low GWP refrigerants. It was obvious that there was no one ideal refrigerant available, and that trade-offs were always going to be needed for particular applications. Many papers also dealt with heat and mass transfers and effects on pressure drop at condensing and flow boiling in heat exchangers. There is continuous effort to find solutions to decreasing the refrigerant charge and increasing heat transfer efficiency.
In the Refrigerating Equipment field, a number of key trends were observed. The first was that there is an increasing whole system design approach being taken to minimizing the environmental footprint of systems. Two, the effort to find HCFC and HFC alternatives continues. Three, improvements are being sought in the solar and waste heat driven systems, and finally, there is continued energy being spent on development of mini and micro refrigeration micro components.
The Cryobiology and Cryomedicine field had two sessions at this Congress. The first session covered instrumentation for programmed freezing of cells and tissues, cooling of the human brain after injury, cooling during laser surgery and another paper presented successful application of cryosurgery. The second session dealt with cryoprotectants, plant cryobiology and further papers on cryopreservation.
The Food Science and Engineering fields, as well as the Refrigerant Storage and Transport fields covered diverse topics. Modeling biological systems from cellular to macro scales continues to feature prominently as well as very practical research to optimize/maximize food storage through ever more complex, and at times, challenging supply chain. This Congress saw an increase in papers focused on insulation materials, in coldstores/containers, but more particularly, in packaging systems. Very popular in the refrigerated transport area was the session on new concepts. Concepts around phase change material incorporation and energy efficiency were the focus.
In the Air Conditioning field, the replacement of R22 and new refrigerants was seen as still being a high priority. Promising was the development of a new 50 kW absorption chiller. In addition, new developments in the area of transport air conditioning and cooling in mines were noted. The keynote paper on systems simulation as a tool for optimization and energy saving prediction also rates a mention.
And finally, the field of Heat Pumps and Energy Recovery had the greatest number of papers accepted and presented at the Congress; showing the escalating interest in this area. Many papers showed the wide range of applications of these technologies, although it was noted that some technologies would find it difficult to gain traction commercially due to the high capital or operating costs. It was also pleasing in this area to note the number of papers by young researchers… this all goes well for the future in this field.
I think that a conference like this is a culmination of a world of activity – we have seen nearly 600 outputs from this work in the form of papers delivered here, but this hides the countless number of hours/days/months and years of activity that have gone into creation of those outputs. As presenters, I congratulate you on your contribution to the success of the 23rd IIR International Congress of Refrigeration.
My final role is to thank the Scientific Committee from the Czech Organizing team. To Milos and his team; you have set the bars high and have covered yourselves in glory. Well done on behalf of the Science and Technology Council of the IIR, and the participants of this Congress.
I would also ask you to pass on our best wishes to our dear friend Milan Houska; we wish him a speedy recovery.
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