Sustainability through innovation

Effective, energy efficient solutions for heat dissipation

Sustainability is a driving force behind improvements to our product development at Smiths Detection. Products are designed to last for decades not years, be serviceable, and upgradable to meet changing requirements. They offer some of the highest energy efficiency in the industry – which is not only about deploying the most effective technology but also scrutinizing how each component is used and what happens to surplus energy.

One example of efficiency boosting innovation is using water to extract heat from high-speed hold baggage and air cargo screening systems.

Air vs. water

Across the industry the current generation of ECAC EDS Standard 3 compliant CT technology equipment – both static and rotating – produces a certain amount of heat which must be expelled. Typically, ambient air is passed through the scanners to move heat out of the machine and into the immediate, working environment – a seemingly simple and reliable option but the impact on the screening facility’s air temperature is often underestimated. The dispersed heat must be cooled or replaced via air conditioning systems which is both costly and energy inefficient.

With 460 installations round the world, the HI-SCAN 10080 XCT is arguably the most popular security scanner in its class. Thermally insulated and sealed to prevent unwanted air interchange between the scanner and its environment, it is available with a choice of three different heat dissipation methods.

The first method transfers process heat into an internal cooling water circuit before dispersal via a fan module into the building. This has the advantage of not requiring any water piping or external connections.

Integrated Climate Control system with heat dispersal via a fan module

Taking this advanced and efficient approach to cooling to the next level, Smiths Detection has developed two other methods using water to transport the heat quickly and efficiently out of not just the scanner, but also the environment and the building.

Water – a highly effective medium

The first of these intelligent water-based solutions pumps water between several HI-SCAN 10080 XCT scanners and a centralised chilled water supply located outside in the open air. The number and size of the chillers are tailored to meet the demands of individual screening facilities. Each contains a hermetic refrigerant circuit, a cold water buffer tank and a controller. To support availability, redundant chillers with automatic switch over are installed.

HI-SCAN 10080 XCT systems connected to an external chiller

With the second, integrated configuration, the HI-SCAN 10080 XCT has an internal chiller providing cold water to the internal cooling circuit. This base module is connected to an airport’s process water system where the heat from the scanner is absorbed by the water. This flows back into the main water system where the harnessed energy can be recycled for other uses such as heating.


Integrated Climate Control system connected to the airport’s process water


Key advantages

Water cooling offers many clear environmental and energy saving benefits.  Taking the heat out of the building eliminates the need to introduce air conditioning or increase the capacity of existing systems; and improves the workplace. Better airflow and temperature management have a positive impact on equipment, increasing mean time between failures (MTBF) and lifecycles of not just scanners but potentially also other components in the facility. Standard piping replaces costly air ducting and external chillers can be installed in many different types of location on or around the facility.

Baggage and material handling systems generate a lot of heat overall and the ability to efficiently extract process heat from a high throughput screening system is a positive step towards resolving this issue in a sustainable manner.

The way forward

Being responsible is fundamental to Smiths Detection – we are committed to using energy efficiently, reducing our greenhouse gas emissions and helping customers reduce their own emissions.

Our heat dissipation concept clearly illustrates how Smiths Detection is exploring every possible avenue to improve sustainability. It offers a way forward providing flexible options which can be adapted to meet individual requirements. 

This is just one way we are helping to make the world a better place, whilst working to make it a safer place.