A new service unit for CO2 mobile air conditioning (MAC) systems – developed by AVL DiTest in collaboration with Daimler – has been approved by the German car manufacturer, paving the way for increased uptake of CO2 vehicle A/C in Europe. Daimler is obliging all 2,700 of its European workshops to install at least one CO2 servicing unit within the next few years.
AVL DiTest will begin to roll out the ADS 310 service unit across Daimler’s European network of servicing stations and other licensed Daimler repairers from the end of July 2016.
The German car giant’s adoption of CO2 for mobile air conditioning in Europe is expected to lead other vehicle manufacturers to consider the natural refrigerant as an environmentally friendly replacement for climate-damaging HFCs and synthetic alternatives.
AVL DiTest, for its part, expects the approval by Daimler to trigger interest in the ADS 310 system by other car manufacturers. “Sooner or later, other car manufacturers will go the way of Daimler,” said Gerald Lackner, the Austrian firm’s CEO.
CO2: the “nearly ideal refrigerant”
Lackner is confident that the large-scale conversion to CO2 MAC in Europe will begin soon, starting with premium vehicles. He says they opted for CO2 as the refrigerant because CO2 systems consume less energy and can be serviced more quickly and more cheaply than other options. From a safety point of view, meanwhile, he describes CO2 as a ”nearly ideal refrigerant”.
CO2 is by far the most cost-effective and environmentally friendly refrigerant,” said Lackner.
In autumn 2016, Daimler will roll out CO2 air conditioning in its European fleet of premium saloon cars. Ahead of the launch, the German car giant partnered with AVL DiTest – based in Graz and Fürth, Austria – to develop the ADS 310 servicing unit for the new systems.
One of the system’s most impressive features is the long oil exchange interval of its vacuum pump, made possible by a smart oil regenerating function. Visual aids help car workshop staff to operate the system, and its components are easily accessible for maintenance purposes.
CO2 in the fast lane
The use of CO2 as a refrigerant in cars is advancing in Germany. At a symposium on the topic in Karlsruhe on 2 June, the German Environment Agency (UBA) presented figures showing that the use of CO2 in cars is on the rise. Other presentations outlined the latest trends in compressors, joints and valves as well as lubricants and two-stage ejectors.