Behr, a specialist for car and truck air conditioning and engine cooling systems, and Behr Hella Thermocontrol,(BHTC), the Behr-Hella joint venture specializing in climate control, in collaboration with DaimlerChrysler, have developed the air conditioning system for the new Mercedes-Benz Sprinter and the VW Crafter. Birgit Kelm, head of Truck Customer Projects at Behr, emphasizes the company’s level of involvement: "We not only took responsibility for implementing the air conditioning system itself, but also provided customer support in our role as consultant and systems integrator. We combined all the HVAC components into a single system, irrespective of whether the components came from us or from another manufacturer.”
The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter and the VW Crafter, developed in a joint project by DaimlerChrysler and VW, both have a standard heating system and the optional "Tempmatik” air conditioning system. When the temperature is adjusted manually, Tempmatik automatically factors in the temperatures of the vehicle cabin, outside air, evaporator, and coolant, and uses this data to compute the ideal comfort climate. The blower speeds, too, are controlled as a function of the outside temperature, the vehicle speed, and the roof height of the interior. The control head for the heating and air conditioning system can be supplied in a total of 18 variants.
"The front seat air conditioning with the control head forms the control center for the HVAC system and is housed in the center section of the cockpit. ” continues Birgit Kelm.
"In the Sprinter, this air conditioning system can be supplemented with two alternative roof-mounted cooling systems if the vehicle is to be used for passenger transport. That way, passengers in the second and third seated rows also enjoy a high level of climate comfort.”
The heating and air conditioning system can be individually tailored to the application location and the intended use, since different air conditioning is required in hot countries compared with that in countries with temperate climates. It is also important whether the vehicle is to be used as a delivery van or for passenger transport. If the Sprinter is used for passenger transport, the auxiliary cooling system is suitable in temperate climates. This simply consists of an additional evaporator, and is integrated into the basic refrigerant circuit (this roof-mounted cooling system is also available for the Crafter). If the Sprinter is used in regions with extreme climate conditions, the more powerful system with a separate refrigerant circuit is recommended. Behr has designed both roof-mounted cooling systems in such a way that they fit into the gap in the roof intended for the sliding roof. This represents an advantage over standard roof-mounted climate control modules, which are normally housed on the roof at the rear, since, in addition to the more compact construction, the lines for the refrigerant are shorter and easier to integrate.