Valeo, a company based in France that works primarily in the automotive sector, has launched a CO2 heat pump for cooling and heating buses at Busworld Europe 2017 in Kortrijk, Belgium (20-25 October).
The system is a modular, reversible, environmentally friendly heat pump that heats, cools and demists electric vehicle cabins.
Manuel Grießer, key account manager at Valeo Thermal Commercial Vehicles Germany, said: “We developed [the system] with CO2 as it works more efficiently heating and cooling in extreme temperatures.”
The CO2 version can operate in temperatures as low as -20°C.
The company has already seen a lot of interest in this heat pump system. “CO2 is the big trend: everyone wants it,” Grießer said.
As reported by R744.com, prior to Busworld, German company Eberspaecher Suetrak also launched a system using CO2 as a refrigerant for bus air-conditioning systems, which also has a heat pump function. Konvekta, which has been using CO2 in buses for some time, also presented the company’s CO2 air-conditioning and heat pump system for buses during the show.
Other HVAC manufacturers for the bus sector at the show are also looking into developing similar systems using CO2 in bus air-conditioning and heat pump systems.
Christian Von Hochmeister, who works in sales at Denso Automotive Deutschland, explained this may be a long process for his company.
“We will start first in the automotive sector in Europe as this is where we have the most experience and then move to other applications such as buses,” he told R744.com.
UK HVAC manufacturer Grayson Thermal Systems is also looking at developing it as the price of the HFC R134a increases due to the European F-Gas Regulation’s phase down of HFCs.
Grayson’s R&D HVAC Principal Engineer E-Mobility Pavel Ikrath believe it’s still a question of components not being available widely enough. “We are looking into it but we are waiting for CO2 compressors to become more widely available,” Ikarth said.
Mobile Climate Control’s (MCC) sales and engineering director in Europe, Björn Afzelius, said his company was working on a CO2 prototype for air-conditioning bus compartments and the driver’s seat as well.
“[Our customers] want this as they see CO2 as more environmentally friendly,” said Afzelius, before cautioning: “It would need a lot of development.”
BITZER, which also presented at Busworld, does CO2 compressors for bus and train applications on request. The company explained in a press release that it has, “compressor technology for a wide variety of air conditioning and heat pump for buses, including for natural refrigerants and with a high level of energy efficiency”.