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Keeping it cool in the age of global warming

Written by maryp posted on Wednesday, October 1st, 2008

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Right now the whole “global warming” situation is driving the change to alternative refrigerants in new cars. (Remember when it was only freon)! Let’s hope that there will be some real data and consensus before this happens as required within the next 25 months. Maybe there is more than just “low global warming potential”, to consider? The Society of Automotive Engineers did develop some new standards to at least quantify the merits, (or not), of some of these alternative refrigerants. Let’s hope they also consider the fuel consumption and also tail pipe emissions, before this change is made. Oh, and make sure the A/C works well and is trouble free for about 7 years or so. That would be cool! (pun intended).

The mandate, (to make the switch), is in place but the jury is still out as to what will be used. Will it be an alternative refrigerant for world wide use? Or will it be country specific? The Europeans believe that (R744), carbon dioxide, will be used, as outlined at a meeting in Paris, June 2008. But, in the U.S., HFO1234yf may be replacing the HFC-134a. (It is my understanding that the German automakers are on board with the R744 plan). But, does this mean that they would have to produce A/C systems that would satisfy both the European standards and another for the rest of the world and/or the U.S. market?

The “mobile A/C” systems are the responsibility of each OEM, (original equipment manufacturer). But, with all of the new regulations that all of the OEM’s are being faced with, it’s a wonder that they can get any car produced. But, that’s what they do and we get the pleasure of driving a BMW!

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