Tata Motors will work with Mahle, which is one of the 20 biggest automotive suppliers in the world on developing vehicle air-conditioning systems that follow UN norms. The joint project will involve trials of cooling systems that are environment friendly and have low potential for global warming.
The eco-friendly secondary loop cooling system will be first installed and tested in a Tata utility vehicle as a prototype. It is slated to be tested on Indian roads in the third quarter of 2017, which is marked by highly humid and warm weather conditions.
The Tata vehicle which has been selected for this project will be made on a new generation platform for utility vehicles, and will have a more complex structure comprising front and rear air conditioning systems.
Tim Leverton, Chief Technology Officer, Tata Motors said that Tata Motors is the first OEM in India to work on carrying out tests of an SL-MAC cooling system that uses environmentally friendly refrigerants on a car. He expressed his delight at working with leading companies and institutions like Mahle and Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development (IGSD) to contribute to the United Nations Environment initiative.
In a conventional car AC system, the cabin air is directly colled by the refrigerant HFC-134 a which has high potential for global warming though it is ozone safe. In the SL-MAC system, the replacement refrigerants first reduce the temperature of a secondary fluid/coolant, which then cools the air in the cabin to a comfortable temperature. This makes it possible to use refrigerants that are slightly flammable but have low global warming potential in order to minimize losses and achieve high cooling capacity.
In the next phase of the project, the environmental and cost advantages of the SL-MAC cooling system will be carefully evaluated.
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