Recent developments in automobile air conditioning

Valeo has developed an environmentally-friendly air-conditioning system which meets future EU regulations. The Valeo R-744 system, based on CO2, represents a significant technological breakthrough due to the significantly higher pressure requirements of the CO2 air-conditioning cycle. CO2 has a much lower Global Warming Potential than the current HFC-134a refrigerant and thus, minimizes the climate impact. Furthermore, a European regulation is currently in the finalization stages and could lead to a ban on the use of the HFC-134a in 2011 in new passenger car models and in 2017 in all new vehicles sold in Europe. Hence, this new R-744 refrigerant system, which replaces the current R-134a refrigerant commonly used in automobile air-conditioning systems and, consequently, considerably reduces the direct impact of air-conditioning systems on global warming due to refrigerant leakage. The system has been tested on a demonstration vehicle and successfully concluded three days of formal tests. Valeo Chairman and CEO Thierry Morin, said that Valeo "expects to see these systems on the market in 2009". Source: Toyota has developed a super lightweight external variable displacement compressor for automobile air conditioning (5SEO9) which helps conserve energy and resources and reduces CO2 emissions. Conventionally, fixed displacement compressors were installed in compact cars. Therefore, Toyota had developed a super lightweight fixed displacement series, the S10 series in order to try to reduce the weight of the compressor itself in compact cars. However, in order to improve efficiency, this development was soon followed by the development of variable displacement compressors. The successful development of the 5SEO9 compact and lightweight external variable displacement compressor combines both characteristics, as, according to Toyota, it is 25% lighter, makes it possible to reduce fuel consumption by 60% and has a 30% faster acceleration. The system used HFC-134a as refrigerant. Source: and