There’s so much innovation happening across Bombardier all the time. We wanted to shine a light on the people who are making that happen. Welcome to Bombardier Breakthroughs, a monthly series where you’ll be introduced to the outstanding inventors, and their cutting-edge inventions, that contribute to the advancement of Bombardier Transportation and Aviation
Introducing Hongzhi Wang
In this month’s edition, meet Hongzhi Wang, Senior Engineering Specialist Thermodynamics, Aviation. Hongzhi pursued both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in his field and, back in 2016, leveraged his top-notch aeronautic skills to develop an airflow cooling mechanism that has been filed for patent protection in Bombardier’s strategic patent portfolio.
From issue to inspiration
Heat load is an issue on aircraft, and the A220 aircraft are no exception. Many aircraft systems are housed in the Aft Equipment Bay (AEB), including Alternating Current Motor Pump (ACMP); and to keep them from overheating, an integrated fan within each operative ACMP is used. The initial function of this integrated fan is to provide the air cooling for each operative ACMP. By ducting the hot air (heat load) outboard the aircraft, the fan within each operative ACMP also drives the ventilation flow to cool the AEB. However, Hongzhi noticed a problem: in flight, aircraft speed creates exit flow resistance (resistance in getting the air outside the aircraft), which made it difficult for the fan to drive enough downstream airflow to cool its operative ACMP. After months of data collection and analysis, Hongzhi confirmed, “I had identified a significant problem and now needed to come up with a solution.”
From idea to invention
In the following months, Hongzhi got to work on developing a new additional cooling mechanism that integrated a side opening near the ACMP duct exit. How does that work? In flight, being automatically adjusted to the exit flow resistance (flight speed), a large portion of the fan’s airflow can come also out by the side opening and re-circulate within the AEB.
What did that do? In flight, the re-circulation of airflow within the AEB ensures sufficient cooling flow through each operative ACMP, but does not cause overheating of AEB due to the significant external cooling associated with higher flight speed and altitude. On ground, this re-circulation through the side opening is minimized due to the low duct exit flow resistance (lack of aircraft speed) and therefore does not cause the overheat to AEB. Problem solved!
Hongzhi’s groundbreaking invention has been implemented in the design of the A220 and the Global 7500 aircraft too! “Overall, this improved cooling mechanism ensures that the ACMP cooling requirements are met in-flight and that the AEB does not overheat on the ground.” His elegant design is not only cost-effective, but also has the potential to be adapted for other equipment on the aircraft.
From invention to patent
“I’m happy that my work can be recognized as a patent. It’s an achievement,” Hongzhi stated. He also recognized Bombardier Aviation’s Senior Patent Agent, Adam Mizera, for his role in facilitating the patent process. Since then, Hongzhi has filed three additional patents.