Standard climate control unit developed by Denso
Global automotive supplier DENSO has developed a new automotive climate control unit that can be used for a wide variety of vehicles ranging from compact to luxury cars. Conventional climate control units are often designed and tailored to each vehicle model, but this product has a new structure which enabled to standardize components while realizing required performance. This standardized automotive climate control unit, which is smaller and lighter while realizing higher performance, is the world’s first of its kind.
“Many of the sub-components for this product, such as air mix door, servo motor and blower fan were newly developed, which enabled to reduce the unit’s size by 20 percent compared to DENSO’s conventional model, and significantly standardized the unit,” said Katsuhisa Shimokawa, executive director responsible for DENSO’s Thermal Systems Business Unit.
The thickness of the air mix door is half that of DENSO’s conventional ones, by using sophisticated forming technologies, thus reducing the depth and weight of the unit.
Also, the conventional unit required several servo motors to operate the air mix door, whereas the new unit has standardized doors and needs only one, enabling the unit case to be made smaller. For the new blower fan, the wing blades of the fan are re-shaped to best suit the wind flow, which allowed the new fan to become 15 percent smaller and consume 20 percent less power, yet maintaining high air discharge capacity.
With these new technologies, the new climate control unit can also be used in eco-friendly cars. For instance, for stop/start system the evaporator in the unit can be replaced with a cold storage evaporator, and for hybrid and electric vehicles the heater core can be replaced with a heat pump air conditioning system. Also by changing the blower fan to two layer structure, to take in external air and circulate internal air simultaneously, the air conditioning system could be used for vehicles with limited heat sources.
DENSO’s new climate control unit is used in the new Toyota Harrier in US, which was released last December and in the Toyota Noah and Voxy which was released this month. This new climate control unit will be offered for a wide variety of vehicle models all over the world.
Replacing a mixer or a servo motor of the HVAC unit is often quite long, difficult and costly in aftermarket even if those parts are supposed to be designed for life. Do you think that this standardized unit will make it simpler to get access to and to replace parts? Do you think DENSO used “Design for After-market” methods to develop this standardized climate control unit?