By: Hector Gomez Perez
For many years the vehicular air conditioning stopped being a luxury to a necessity by several factors. Three experts on the subject evaluate some relevant aspects of these systems today.
by Héctor Gómez Pérez
A vehicular air conditioning system was for many an expensive luxury until several years ago. It is now a need which is included within the characteristics of the vast majority of vehicles and their need was determined by factors as diverse as the same security and climate change in the region.
In many cities in Latin America: Cartagena de Indias in Colombia, Rio de Janeiro in Brazil or Panama City, just to give some examples of hot cities of the region, a ride in a car that does not have air conditioning can become a true punishment for the driver and passengers, without mobility problems or insecurity of some other cities that exacerbate the disadvantage and force keep your windows up to avoid mishaps.
ACR Latin America wanted to talk to three experts in the field for trends, changes that have been implemented and horizons glimpsed back a few years for these systems. The group was formed by Jorge Colaço, Environmental management consultant Recigases Refrigeration Sao Paulo, Brazil; John Jairo Rivera, manager of Tecnoaires of Cali, Colombia, and Ignacio Gabriel Corella, general manager of CEKSA Autoclimas of Mexico. With them we talked about this important area ventilation, especially coolants used.
Jorge Colaço was the first to be emphatic in stating that there is no refrigerant gas that does not affect the environment. Definitely they have been making efforts to use gases that do not attack the ozone layer, although almost all have GWM (Global Warming Potential and Global Warming Potential).
The first major step was the replacement of R-12 by the R-134a systems vehicle air acondiconado, but Rivera said that there are still things to address this issue by stating that "the issue of replacement refrigerants to date I think is not solved, since the R-12 was replaced by R-134a, which does not damage the ozone layer, but failing that produce global warming. There is a replacement called HC12 and is made of hydrocarbons, it is rare that a refrigerant is produced in the US but do not understand why not been marketed in Colombia and neighboring countries. "
Ignacio Corella thinks that what exists at the moment is something very similar to what happened in 1992 when the counterclaim gas R-134a occurred. "Gas R-134a was very controversial at first, however, and enjoys full acceptance. Currently they are testing with other mixtures and CO2, although the latter involves handling of dangerously high pressures. So far no cause or warning, concern or changing gas refrigerant for mobile units, "he said Corella.
Commitment of the parties
One aspect in which the three guests agreed is that we still lack awareness regarding the topic of environmental care on the part of manufacturers and users of ventilation systems for vehicles. On the one hand, Rivera said that although there are certain regulations for manufacturers in the production of vehicles and their accessories, yet this commitment is void between users and notes that "only some people value the service provided by specialized service workshops on topics of recuperaración before a system is fully discharged when cooling problems arise. There is no awareness in fact not allow refrigerant mixture that labor is qualified, the use of service shops having their trained for handling pollutants and other substances personnel. "
Colaço believes that the issue goes by factors of information and sets an example to illustrate the point: "We all know that more oil on any engine device does not necessarily improve lubrication, but no one cares about the amount of gas in the air system conditioned. Worse yet many believe that amount can be measured by pressure. "
Corella meanwhile think the issue goes on the side of the law. "While there is no strong legislation in this respect as in the United States, Canada or Australia, both manufacturers and consumers will ignore any proceeding involving cost or waste of time. strict legislation it becomes necessary either to give more authority to the government agencies in charge of protecting the environment, "he said.
Trends and Realities
At present, the gas most commonly used in systems vehicular refrigeration is the R-134a and it is important to take into account relevant aspects in the operated with this coolant as the thermodynamic properties of systems, compatibility of materials and component selection. Also the R-134a refrigerants must not be mixed with mineral oils or lubricants alcalibenzeno.
Following its earlier idea Colaço states that manufacturers should include in manuals vehicles the amount of gas that must be put into the system in the same way as the quantities of oil or radiator fluid are included. Also it believes that within these systems is essential to the type of oil used in the compressor. "In Brazil use oil for refrigerators, which eventually damage the compressor and how it takes a few months, the user does not realize until long after you put the wrong oil to the system", said Colaço.
As we stated from the beginning, the vehicular air conditioning stopped being an exclusive luxury of a few, to be a need for the vast majority. This has enabled it to be an element vehicle factory, which has brought that system performance is much better corrected past two typical problems: overheating and excessive fuel consumption.
Among the current features are highlighted in turn are automated systems, which have been substantially reduced levels of noise generated by the speeds reached by air and improved circulation thereof and obtaining thermal comfort.
Now if we talk about a good maintenance of these systems, Colaço believes that more than a matter of intuition, technician or mechanic repair, or maintenance of these must be equipped with: a dustpan or recycler gas, have whenever a possible leak detection system ultraviolet, and provide a good vacuum noncontact thermometer.
The three experts consider systems vehicular air conditioning are widely used in most of Latin America, although Colaço provides an important fact: "In terms of numbers Brazil is the country that uses them, but if we consider the relationship with people think that Colombia, Peru and Venezuela must be in a very high percentage. "
Latin America had an important development in HVAC / R. However there is still much room for improvement for a region located next to the big markets. It is still much based on purchase prices.
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