Tata Motors and MAHLE partnered to develop Secondary Loop Mobile AC System (SL-MAC)

Secondary Loop Mobile Air Conditioning System
A secondary refrigerant used in a secondary loop

13 July 2017– Tata Motors Limited and MAHLE, one of the world’s 20 largest suppliers to the automotive industry, have signed a joint development agreement for designing and developing a Secondary Loop Mobile Air Conditioning System (SL–MAC), under the aegis of United Nations Environment. MAHLE and Tata Motors, along with the Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development (IGSD), which is coordinating the project, received funding for developing the SL-MAC system from the Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollutants (CCAC), a global initiative to support fast action and make a difference in the areas of climate, public health, and food and energy security. This project envisages use and trial of environment friendly, low global warming potential (GWP) refrigerants HF01234yf (ASHRAE A2L) and HFC-152a (ASHRAE A2).

A team comprising of representatives of the California Air Resources Board (CARB), the Mobile Air Conditioning Society Worldwide (MACS), the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL), MAHLE, Tata Motors, and IGSD reviewed the newly constructed SL-MAC system and the prototype at the MAHLE Behr facility in Lockport, New York, USA, on 7 April 2017.

A Tata vehicle based on a new generation platform for utility vehicles, consisting of a more complex architecture with front and rear air conditioning system, has been selected for this joint development program. The SL–MAC system will first be installed in the Tata utility vehicle as a prototype. In the SL-MAC system, the alternative refrigerants first cool a secondary fluid/coolant, which in turn cools the air to comfortable temperatures inside the vehicle cabin. This process allows the safe use of slightly flammable refrigerants that have a low GWP and in turn achieves high cooling capacity, minimizing the losses and achieving an optimized overall thermodynamic efficiency in the process. This is in contrast to the conventional mobile AC system, where the cabin air is directly cooled by the refrigerant HFC-134a, which is ozone safe but has a high GWP.

According to Dr. Tim Leverton, Chief Technology Officer, Tata Motors – “Tata Motors has been at the forefront of innovation and is constantly working towards shaping the future of mobility. As a part of our R &D efforts, we are committed to pioneering and inventing solutions to a greener future in the auto industry and this initiative is a step in that direction. We are the first OEM in India who is developing and evaluating an SL-MAC system on a car, using environmentally friendly refrigerants. We are delighted to work with class leading global suppliers like MAHLE and institutions like IGSD to contribute to the United Nations Environment initiative.”

The new SL-MAC system, which is testing the low-GWP refrigerants, is expected to increase vehicle energy efficiency through engineering. This system will turn off the compressor during acceleration and will retain coolness when the compressor is inactive or the engine is turned off for a short duration, allowing rapid cool-down at re-start. In addition to the expected energy efficiency benefits (fuel saving of up to 3%), the SL-MAC system allows the use of refrigerants that should avoid flow into the vehicle cabin. The refrigerant never enters the passenger compartment and instead stays in the engine area. Only the coolant circulates through the interior air conditioning unit.

According to Dr. Stephen O. Andersen, PhD, Director of Research for IGSD – “The Secondary Loop System will permit the use of alternative refrigerants like HFC-152a (GWP of 138) and HFO-1234yf (GWP<1) which have much lower GWPs than the current most-commonly used refrigerant, HFC-134a (GWP of 1300). We will be comparing the life-cycle carbon footprint of HFC-152a – with a higher GWP offset by higher energy efficiency – to the carbon footprint of HFO-1234yf and we will be estimating the cost of manufacture and ownership for each system.”

The SL-MAC project is on schedule, as expected, with anticipated environmental and cost advantages to be determined in the next stages. The prototype will be tested on the Indian roads later in the third quarter of 2017, where long seasons of hot and humid weather and stop-start driving conditions make a secondary loop air conditioning system highly advantageous.

For further information, please contact:

Via: IGSD Press Release

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Tata Motors forays into future mobility solutions with TAMO

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As reported earlier by us, Tata Motors unveiled their new sub-brand TAMO.

As a core element of its transformation journey ‘FutuReady’, Tata Motors presented today its new Passenger Vehicle strategy and introduced its new sub-brand – TAMO. It will act as an incubating center of innovation towards new technologies, business models and partnerships in order to define future mobility solutions.

TAMO as a new, separated vertical will operate in the first step on a low volume, low investment model to provide fast tracked proves of technologies and concepts. TAMO will act as an open platform to network with global startups and leading tech companies, to get access to trends, innovations and solutions, for the design of exciting future products and services. For the rapidly changing automotive environment, TAMO will transform the experience of interfacing and interacting with customers and the wider community. TAMO will provide a digital eco-system, which will be leveraged by Tata Motors to support the mainstream business in the future.

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Speaking on the announcement, Guenter Butschek, MD & CEO, Tata Motors, said, “The success of our transformation journey ‘FutuReady’ is measured by our vision and depends on our ability to deliver on our comprehensive strategies for our business units. Our game plan addresses six themes – topline improvement, cost management, structural improvements, customer centricity, new mobility solutions and organizational effectiveness. To secure our future in a rapidly changing environment, the advanced mobility solutions space is of utmost importance. The introduction of TAMO will help us to co-design India’s automotive footprint by taking new technologies and mobility concepts as a new ecosystem to market.”

Tata Motors’ New Passenger Vehicle (PV) Strategy

To achieve sustainable financial performance, while delivering exciting innovations, Tata Motors is aiming to be amongst the top 3 passenger vehicles by 2019, in India. Taking an outside-in approach, Tata Motors reviewed its existing PV product portfolio and formulated a new PV strategy based on the evaluation of different customer segments and global progressions in terms of design, technology and innovation. Tata Motors foresees a strong demand growth in the hatchback and the SUV segments, according to this study.

Speaking on its well-defined PV Strategy, Mayank Pareek, President, PV Business, Tata Motors, said, “In line with our new PV strategy, our portfolio will include a mix of brand enhancing products and ones that are well aligned to the rising aspirations of the different target customer segments. Our strategy is to deliver 7-8 product variants from two platforms, for greater coverage and sizable economies of scale. Our new architectural approach supports our effort to reduce complexity, enables future technologies and ensures global relevance. We have mapped technology solutions in key areas such as powertrain systems, ADAS and enhanced connectivity to our future product portfolio and have defined the application framework. Our goal is not to just comply with the emerging regulations but be ahead of the requirement.”


Technology drivers that will lead the future

The automotive industry is facing a discontinuity in the nature of mobility, and the products & services needed to satisfy the emerging customer preferences. These emerging trends may lead to a new set of competitors thus causing disruption in the traditional operating models. To secure a future position in a rapidly changing environment, Tata Motors is actively exploring opportunities to offer products and solutions catering to the discerning needs of our customers, new approaches, technologies, business models and partnerships.

Speaking on tapping innovative mindset globally, Dr. Tim Leverton, President and Head Advanced and Product Engineering, Tata Motors, said, “With TAMO, we are starting a new era. The idea is to find new and agile ways of innovating and experimenting. Our success in this new mobility world will be contingent to our ability to network globally and to partner with new thought leaders. Our focus will be to scout for new technologies and to explore opportunities at the innovation hubs across the globe and to work with start-ups in the new spaces. Since this requires a different way of thinking, we will apply within TAMO also, new ways of working because leadership is all about time to market.”

The first product developed by TAMO will premiere at the upcoming 87th Geneva International Motor Show on March 7, 2017.

About Tata Motors

Tata Motors Limited is India’s largest automobile company, with consolidated revenues of INR 2,75,561 crores (USD 41.6 billion) in 2015-16. Through subsidiaries and associate companies, Tata Motors has operations in the UK, South Korea, Thailand, South Africa and Indonesia. Among them is Jaguar Land Rover, the business comprising the two iconic British brands. It also has an industrial joint venture with Fiat in India.  With over 9 million Tata vehicles plying in India, Tata Motors is the country’s market leader in commercial vehicles and among the top in passenger vehicles. Tata cars, buses and trucks are being marketed in several countries in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, South East Asia, South America, Australia, CIS and Russia.

Watch the action unfold as the countdown begins on www.tamo.co.in