Tata Motors announced a tie up with Mahle for the design and development of a Secondary Loop Mobile Air Conditioning System (SL-MAC) under the aegis of United Nations Environment. The companies along with the Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development (IGSD) received funding for developing the SL-MAC system from the Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollutants (CCAC).
This project envisages use and trial of environment friendly, low global warming potential (GWP) refrigerants HF01234yf (ASHRAE A2L) and HFC-152a (ASHRAE A2). It is likely to increase vehicle energy efficiency through engineering. A Tata vehicle based on a new generation platform for utility vehicles, consisting of a more complex architecture with front and rear air conditioning system, has been selected for this joint development program. Read – Tata Motors And Jayem Automotives Join Hands To Develop Performance Vehicles
The SL–MAC system will first be installed in the Tata utility vehicle as a prototype. The prototype will be tested on the Indian roads later in the third quarter of 2017, where long seasons of hot and humid weather and stop-start driving conditions make a secondary loop air conditioning system highly advantageous.
How SL-MAC system Works?
This system will turn off the compressor during acceleration and will retain coolness when the compressor is inactive or the engine is turned off for a short duration, allowing rapid cool-down at re-start. In addition to the expected energy efficiency benefits (fuel saving of up to 3%), the SL-MAC system allows the use of refrigerants that should avoid flow into the vehicle cabin. The refrigerant never enters the passenger compartment and instead stays in the engine area. Only the coolant circulates through the interior air conditioning unit.
In the SL-MAC system, the alternative refrigerants first cool a secondary fluid/coolant, which in turn cools the air to comfortable temperatures inside the vehicle cabin. This process allows the safe use of slightly flammable refrigerants that have a low GWP and in turn achieves high cooling capacity, minimizing the losses and achieving an optimized overall thermodynamic efficiency in the process. This is in contrast to the conventional mobile AC system, where the cabin air is directly cooled by the refrigerant HFC-134a, which is ozone safe but has a high GWP. Photo Gallery – The Man Behind Tata Nano Drives These Luxurious Cars
The project tram includes representatives of the California Air Resources Board (CARB), the Mobile Air Conditioning Society Worldwide (MACS), the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL), MAHLE, Tata Motors, and IGSD reviewed the newly constructed SL-MAC system and the prototype at the MAHLE Behr facility in Lockport, New York, USA, on 7 April 2017.
According to Dr. Tim Leverton, Chief Technology Officer, Tata Motors, “Tata Motors has been at the forefront of innovation and is constantly working towards shaping the future of mobility. As a part of our R &D efforts, we are committed to pioneering and inventing solutions to a greener future in the auto industry and this initiative is a step in that direction. We are the first OEM in India who is developing and evaluating an SL-MAC system on a car, using environmentally friendly refrigerants. We are delighted to work with class leading global suppliers like MAHLE and institutions like IGSD to contribute to the United Nations Environment initiative.”