Re ECF Project: 2010-26

Project Title: Development of an Electric Air Conditioning (EAC) System Tailored for Commercial Vehicles with Dedicated Operational Needs

Applicant: Ir Kenny WONG Siu Wai of Hong Kong Productivity Council

Total Approved Grant: $499,800

Duration: 1/1/2011 to 31/8/2012

Project Status/Remarks: Completed

The project aims to solve specific need for “much longer” service duration of air conditioning in vehicles during engine idling off period for the commercial transport sectors. The new air conditioning system will be powered by the high capacity Lithium Iron Phosphate Battery which can be recharged by both the new on-board power generator and the 220V AC power socket.

Summary of the Findings/Outcomes:
The concept of Automatic Engine Idlestop and Supplementary Air Conditioning System (ISAC) is that the engine will stop operation automatically at idling stage, and also restarts automatically without the need of re-triggering of the start-up key. In the case of LPG fueled Taxi, fuel saving up to 12% and carbon dioxide emission reduction up to 12% can be achieved in urban traffic condition.

In conventional automobile, the air-conditioning compressor is driven by the engine through pulleys and belt. That signifies that whenever the engine is not running, there is no air conditioning. In order to provide uninterrupted air conditioning during the operation of ISAC, we developed Supplementary Air Conditioning Unit and it provides conditioned air during idlestop condition (up to 2 hours) in order to maintain thermal comfort for the vehicle cabin. In principle, the Supplementary Air Conditioning Unit stores energy when the vehicle is running and parking with optional AC supply, and the unit releases the stored energy to the hybrid air-conditoning compressor during idlestop condition.

After the successful development of the prototype system, publicity programme such as technical seminar was organized. Major of the fleet operators in the seminar expressed their interest in retrofitting with the System. Besides, the system attracted reports and coverage from a wide range of mass media, newspaper, magazine, radio, television, etc. The project is regarded as a success.