Tata Motors, Mahle to develop secondary loop mobile AC system
Tata Motors and Mahle, one of the world’s 20 largest suppliers to the automotive industry, have signed a joint development agreement for designing and developing a Secondary Loop Mobile Air Conditioning System (SL–MAC), under the aegis of the United Nations Environment Programme.
Mahle and Tata Motors, along with the Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development (IGSD), which is coordinating the project, received funding for developing the SL-MAC system from the Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Reduce ShortLived Climate Pollutants (CCAC), a global initiative to support fast action and make a difference in the areas of climate, public health, and food and energy security.
This project envisages use and trial of environment-friendly, low global warming potential (GWP) refrigerants HF01234yf (ASHRAE A2L) and HFC-152a (ASHRAE A2). A team comprising 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 recently reviewed the newly constructed SL-MAC system and the prototype at the Mahle Behr facility in Lockport, New York.
A Tata Motors vehicle based on a newgeneration platform for utility vehicles, consisting of a more complex architecture with front and rear air conditioning system, has been selected for this joint development programme. The SL–MAC system will first be installed in the Tata utility vehicle as a prototype.
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 that is developing and evaluating an SLMAC system on a car, using environmentfriendly refrigerants.”
According to Stephen O Andersen, Director of Research for IGSD, “The Secondary Loop System will permit the use of alternative refrigerants like HFC-152a (GWP of 138) and HFO-1234yf (GWP < 1) which have much lower GWPs than the current most-commonly used refrigerant, HFC-134a (GWP of 1300). We will be comparing the lifecycle carbon footprint of HFC-152a – with a higher GWP offset by higher energy efficiency – to the carbon footprint of HFO-1234yf, and we will be estimating the cost of manufacture and ownership for each system.”