Tata Mo­tors, Mahle to develop sec­ondary loop mo­bile AC sys­tem

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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.”

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