Visteon has been a leading supplier of climate control systems that go into vehicles. As requirements for noise, comfort and convenience grow intense; Visteon engineers find new ways to lead in innovative heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems to meet consumer demand for improved cabin comfort. In fact, Visteons state-of-the-art laser laboratory and development tools together with its ability to combine noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) and package performance requirements with modularity provide an airflow management expertise that benefits both automakers and consumers. Claiming to play a lead role in addressing three major trends emerging in the development of next-generation climate systems, Visteon is looking into performance enhancement at lower noise level, package reduction and cross platform usage.
Performance enrichment at lower noise level
Noise level, airflow performance and power consumption are three key factors impacting the design of an HVAC system. HVAC and air rush noise disrupts driver and passenger comfort and requires continuous improvement as part of the overall reduction of vehicle NVH levels. Airflow performance for increased air mass flow in the cabin is a result of larger vehicle cabins and higher demands on thermal performance forced by larger glass surfaces. Increased power consumption in the vehicle is caused by higher feature content with a significant number of electrical systems.
Visteon has translated these requirements into new efficient blower systems, generating more airflow at lower power consumption and NVH. "The starting point for the development of this new generation blower was a detailed analysis of current blower systems," says Nurdal Kucukkaya, Visteons director, climate control systems product line for Europe and South America. "Benchmarking revealed that Visteon systems were already best-in-class in terms of efficiency and were among the leaders in managing NVH."
The development of the new blower generation was initiated using state-of-the- art Laser-Doppler Anemometry (LDA) and Particle-lmage-Velocimetry (PIV) technology at Visteons Laser Laboratory at its climate control centre of excellence in Kerpen, Germany. LDA and PIV enable non-obtrusive three-dimensional measurement of the airflows and based on the LDA findings the blower design has been revised significantly. These modifications have resulted in a significantly better performance compared to standard blower types. In contrast to a conventional HVAC blower, the efficiency increased from 44 per cent to 55 per cent at the working point and the noise levels dropped by 3 decibels.
As a leading supplier of automotive cockpits, Visteon is developing compact, space efficient HVAC systems. The Visteon solution utilizes a full centre mount HVAC system with an optimized air inlet area, a high efficient dual inlet blower and a space-efficient temperature door system. By the intelligent use of standard components and development tools, package and cost targets are achieved. Performance testing of the compact system revealed that the airflow performance is improved and noise levels are reduced significantly compared to the 40 per cent larger base system.
Cross platform usage
As original equipment manufacturers increasingly look for cross platform synergies, the HVAC system must allow an upgrade from the base version to a high-class version while minimising, development, manufacturing and tooling costs. By exchanging only a few unique components, the target of low tooling and development cost can be achieved. Visteons Modular Multizone HVAC concept allows for the reuse of up to 70 per cent of components in all systems, which is not only cost efficient with regard to development and tooling but also allows Visteon to react flexibly to changes. Based on only one design Visteons modular concept enables customers to equip vehicles with either single, dual, tri or quadzone climate systems.