The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) has launched a new Cooperative Research Program to develop mobile air-conditioning systems that are more efficient and less harmful to the environment.
Automakers have determined that new refrigerants must be screened and identified by the second quarter of 2007. The cooperative research will save the automotive industry extra costs, as companies will share the expense of evaluating new alternative refrigerants for use in air-conditioning systems.
The new Cooperative Research Programs include:
Risk Assessment (CRP150-1): Chemical and toxicology specialists will assess different chemicals as potential refrigerants.
Chemical Compatibility (CRP150-2): Laboratory evaluations will be conducted to see how new refrigerants react with common materials.
System Impact (CRP150-3): This program will work to understand the effects of new refrigerants on vehicle systems.
Service/Leakage (CRP150-4): Mobile air conditioning experts will address efficiency of new refrigerants.
Vehicle Durability (CRP150-5): Represented OEMs will supply vehicles to be tested in a variety of climatic regions with new refrigerants.
The following automakers have expressed interest in the programs: Audi, BMW, DaimlerChrysler, Ford, General Motors, Hyundai, Nissan, Paccar, PSA Peugeot Citroën, Toyota, Volvo and Volkswagen.
Earlier this year, regulators from the European Commission, the US EPA Mobile Air Conditioning Climate Protection Partnership, and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) announced their intention to harmonize Mobile Air Conditioning (MAC) testing and engineering standards to minimize leakages of fluorinated gases used in automobile air conditioning systems. (Earlier post.)