Air conditioning for transportation
In August 2012, Tata Motors of India is releasing a car that does not use petrol, diesel, or electricity. The Tata Car runs on pure air. According to Tata, the air car’s exhaust system expels air that is clean and cool enough to use in the internal air conditioning system. The air car uses compressed air to push its engine pistons to propel the car’s movement. Called the “Mini CAT”, the car will get at least twice the mileage of the most advanced electric car. Mini CAT’s top speed is around 60 miles per hour with a range of about 185 miles. This is taking sustainability and energy efficiency to a new level. A little car that creates a by-product to run its own air conditioning – what is not to love?
Air conditioning and transportation is nothing new and we have come to rely on it in these modern times, in cars, buses, trains, and aeroplanes. There is no fun in sitting in a stifling car with the sun blazing down stuck in a traffic jam when you could be sitting cool and relaxed. Most manufacturers offer air conditioning or climate control as standard these days in vehicles. The heat on some passenger trains on commuter routes are nothing short of bake houses in the summer when the trains are packed with commuters and the train has been left in a siding somewhere absorbing the sun’s heat. The replacement of rolling stock on the UK’s rail system is gradually introducing air-conditioned carriages much to passenger’s relief.
For caravanning and motor home enthusiasts, air conditioning does not often come as standard but there are simple ways to have air conditioning units fitted to your vehicle for additional comfort. If you are travelling abroad in your motor home or even have a static caravan in the British Isles temperatures can be very hot during the summer months. The relatively lightweight construction of caravans and motor homes means they heat up and cool down very quickly making some form of temperature control important. Most caravans and motor homes have white, cream, or silver exterior finishes, which plays a part in some temperature control by reflecting heat in the summer and reducing radiated heat in the winter.
Air conditioning is necessary especially if you are travelling and driving long distances in hot weather. There are several types of system available. Roof mounted air conditioning units are designed to replace existing roof vents or fans which makes fitting an easy procedure. All that is needed is a 230-volt supply to operate them. Easy fitting and removal make these units by far the most popular. The position of the air conditioning unit on the roof means the cooled air is at the highest point ready to cascade down cooling the inside of the van. Air conditioning units can be quite heavy so it is important to check that your roof is strong enough.
Internally mounted units are designed to floor mount in a bed box or similar space ideally near the axle. This means there is little impact on the vehicle stability when moving. Cool air is drawn in, and then expelled via the floor or side of the vehicle. Wiring is normally easy but ducting is required to take a proportion of the cold air to a higher level to be effective. With some van layouts, this may be easy to achieve by hiding the piping inside existing furniture. However, where this is not possible, it may be difficult to achieve a neat installation.
In all cases, your air conditioning experts will be able to give you the benefit of their knowledge to choose the right air conditioning unit that is right for you and your motor home or caravan.