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Prototyping Battery Powered HVAC


Climate change is a global challenge and has attracted lots of attention worldwide. As the federal government has noted, nearly 25 percent of Canada's greenhouse gas emissions are caused by the transportation industry sector, which is the highest emissions among all other sectors. Idling-reduction is a major component for the commercial highway freight to protect the environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and reducing fuel consumption as well as noise. Therefore, currently, most of the long-haul heavy-duty trucks need to equip the APUs (Auxiliary Power Units), which are running on small diesel engines to power on the HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air-Conditioning) system when they are off-road. While these smaller diesel engines produce fewer emissions than the truck's main engines, they do not completely eliminate emissions. In this project, we aim to design a battery powered HVAC system to potentially eliminate the greenhouse emissions completely when off-road.

In this project, we aim to design and develop a few functional blocks and integrate them with the HVAC compressor to form a battery operated HVAC system prototype. The target system should be able to charge the batteries while the truck is on-road, making use of the energy from the braking operations. It also has interface to the server through a mobile phone as a gateway.

The proposed technology enables truck drivers to access the full range of cabin comforts without restricting where the trucks must stop, while achieving the purpose of protecting environment and reducing gas consumption. Through the collaboration work, we are looking forward to developing new technologies to supply Canadian off-road fleets with battery-powered HVAC systems, helping Canada to meet its commitment to reduce Canada's greenhouse gas emissions by 17 percent from 2005 levels by 2020.