ContiTech Ups Efficiency of Air Conditioning Systems

Optimized hose lines minimize pressure losses and reduce use of coolants / Low-cost and compact internal heat exchanger alternative with high standardization potential increases system efficiency

Hannover, (PresseBox) - Heightened environmental awareness and the resultant, ever stricter climate protection regulations have forced a rethink among automobile manufacturers. Nowadays a vehicle's fuel and ecological footprint is just as important as performance data, comfort or utility value. ContiTech Fluid Technology engineers, who have long since been working on achieving mobility that is as high-performance as it is eco-friendly, were recently looking at conventional vehicle air conditioning systems more closely. The entire ContiTech air conditioning systems supply scope was reviewed and practically reinvented. Because ultimately, air conditioning systems play a significant role in overall fuel consumption.

ContiTech has developed numerous solutions to significantly increase efficiency of air conditioning systems - while at the same time reducing the amount of coolant used and the weight. This not only protects the environment but is also good news for the driver's pocketbook.

Use of the internal heat exchanger developed by ContiTech alone promises around 5% greater efficiency. By means of a simple thermodynamic effect, the coolant is cooled down further without increasing the energy consumption. As well as this solution with integrated lines, with the Conti Eco Compact XR internal heat exchanger, Conti has also developed a particularly compact and low-cost alternative with high potential for standardization. "As use of the internal heat exchanger increases discharge temperatures, it requires high-temperature resistant, low-permeation hose solutions," explains Mike Eismann, development manager for air conditioning systems at ContiTech Fluid Technology. "And these are already part of our product range."

Optimized internal diameters for air conditioning lines and minimized pressure losses also enhance efficiency. This led to the development of the new ECO AC system, which is based on ContiTech developers' expert know-how. It covers all areas from the simulation of heat exchange, pressure loss and stability, through hose development of the compound to high-temperature resistant permeation barriers and complete hose lines.

The reduced diameters in hot gas and fluid lines with reduced suction-side pressure losses significantly increase system efficiency in combination with the internal heat exchanger. "This is a benefit that will be fully appreciated when air conditioning systems are included in a vehicle's overall fuel and climate footprint at the very latest," stresses Eismann.

This new hose design minimizes pressure loss since it restricts the hose cross-section far less than with the conventional solution. In addition, it is robust and economical both in terms of materials used and costs, on account of its short construction form.

Regardless what coolant the automobiles of the future will use - each bit of the coolant that can be saved is of much greater benefit to the environment. Reduction of coolant usage is therefore one of the main goals of ContiTech developers. This is mainly achieved by reducing the internal diameter of hoses as much as possible - wherever it makes sense. If this is done in the right places, for example on the fluid and hot gas line, it not only increases the efficiency of the overall system but also reduces its volume significantly. Accordingly, less coolant needs to flow through the narrower lines and in addition, the weight of the lines is cut by up to 30% or 500 g per vehicle.

ContiTech is also responding to the increasing pressure from new legal requirements with alternative connection technologies. ContiLock R and the use of bonded seals with sealing lips vulcanized on ensure impressively low permeation, ease of installation and zero pressure loss.

By reinventing key components, ContiTech has been able to increase the ecological efficiency of air conditioning systems even more significantly. With its groundbreaking, sustainable innovations, the rubber specialist is supporting automobile manufacturers in their efforts to achieve mobility that is as high-performance as it is eco-friendly.

ContiTech Antriebssysteme GmbH

ContiTech AG, Hanover, is the world's no. 1 specialist for rubber and plastics technology in the non-tire rubber sector. The company develops and produces functional parts, components and systems for the automotive industry and other important industries. The company has a workforce of around 21,000 employees. In 2008 it realized sales of about €3 billion. ContiTech is a division of Continental AG. With sales exceeding €24 billion in 2008, the Continental Corporation is one of the top automotive suppliers worldwide. As a supplier of brake systems, systems and components for the powertrain and chassis, instrumentation, infotainment solutions, vehicle electronics, tires and technical elastomers, the corporation contributes towards enhanced driving safety and protection of the global climate. Continental is also a competent partner in networked automobile communication. The corporation currently employs approximately 130,000 at nearly 190 locations in 35 countries.

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