MAHLE has developed a smart air-conditioning system to support the fight against fine particulates in the vehicle cabin. Its main innovative feature is the integration of fine-particulate sensors directly into the air-conditioning system. Because this gives the sensors immediate access to both cabin air and external air, the air-conditioning system can react quickly and precisely to changing pollution levels and use the appropriate cleaning strategy to keep the air in the vehicle clean.
MAHLE claims the new solution offers several advantages in comparison with other systems available on the market: thanks to the functional integration within the air conditioning system, the solution is more compact, lighter, and cheaper. For this purpose, MAHLE has rounded out its innovative concept with newly developed fine-particulate filters that offer even greater efficiency.
“Customers will find that the air in the vehicle cabin is noticeably cleaner and the fine-particulate values in the car are lower thanks to our new smart air conditioning system,” explains Laurent Art, Director Advanced Engineering Thermal Management at MAHLE. “Furthermore, this new system lets them check the air quality in the vehicle in real time.”
Existing solutions measure the level of pollution using a complex stand-alone sensor or array of sensors, which is or are often connected via hoses to the central heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) unit.
New generation of fine-particulate filters
In conjunction with its innovative sensor concept, MAHLE has developed a new generation of fine-particulate filters. The high dust extraction capacity exhibited by these filters is near constant over their entire lifetimes, ensuring good cabin air in the long term.
Fine particulates, solid particles, harmful gases, and environmental odors in the incoming air are reliably kept out of the vehicle cabin. Typical particles, such as brake dust, diesel soot, and tire debris, which are produced and transported by traffic on the road ahead, do not enter the cabin.
The sensors integrated into the smart air conditioning system from MAHLE also ensure optimal service life for the filter elements. Furthermore, the filter protects the components within the air conditioning system from exposure to polluted air.