Thermo King is showcasing a line of StudentAIRE heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) solutions designed to be compact and affordable for school bus operators, manufacturers and dealers at the National Association for Pupil Transportation Summit in Grand Rapids, Mich.
Solutions that include a high performance air-conditioning system requiring minimal space; a bulkhead evaporator for small to mid-size school bus applications; and two split air-conditioning systems will be featured at the Thermo King booth, No. 735, during the trade show on Oct. 22 and 23. All units will be available for order in the first quarter of 2014, officials said.
The Slimline Rooftop Air Conditioning System (SLR) is a lightweight, ultra-low profile heating and air-conditioning unit for school bus applications with a design that offers superior airflow, easier installation and better service accessibility, company officials said. Thermo King engineers developed this system to address requirements from customers, while adhering to transportation guidelines.
The SLR offers a low roof profile — measuring approximately 6 inches above the roof — and provides significant space savings while reducing the potential for impact with trees or buildings, according to company officials. The unit is designed to maximize headroom by measuring 3.5 inches inside the vehicle.
Utilizing state-of-the-art structural foam molding and weighing in at 124 pounds, the modular unit is easy to install and maintain, providing easy and safe access for maintenance from inside the bus — an industry first for rooftop systems, company officials said. The unit allows for 90% of components to be serviceable from inside the bus.
Additionally, the SLR can be installed in the middle of the bus for more uniform air flow while distributing the weight evenly between the axles. This solution also requires 40% less refrigerant than conventional units, making it a more sustainable solution, according to company officials.
The SLR is manufactured in the U.S. and meets Buy America requirements.
The BE-550 lightweight bulkhead evaporator (BE-550) for small to mid-size school bus applications helps ensure passenger comfort in vehicles where headroom clearance is an issue, company officials said.
The new bulkhead evaporator is a split-system solution that can be mounted in the front, rear, or both bulkhead areas of a vehicle. This unit is 46% smaller by volume and 28% lighter in weight than other industry solutions, according to company officials, and offers 6% airflow improvement and 23% greater capacity.
Three-speed blowers provide quick temperature pull-down inside the bus to maximize passenger comfort while reducing interior noise levels. The blowers and the return-air filter are easily accessible to allow for efficient maintenance, company officials said. The evaporator can accommodate either right-side or left-side refrigeration and electrical connections and also features a flexible mounting arrangement. The bulkhead evaporator is compatible with skirt-mount and roof condensers.
The SA-400 split air-conditioning system delivers economic, high-performance cooling for small and mid-sized vehicles while the SA-800 split air-conditioning system offers the same benefits for mid-size and larger wheelbase vehicles.
These HVAC solutions feature three-speed blowers for optimal pull-down and passenger comfort and an easily accessible return-air filter and blowers for efficient maintenance, company officials said. The units offer galvanneal and aluminum construction for corrosion resistance and less weight. They are compatible with skirt-mount and rooftop condensers.
Condensers on the systems use micro-channel technology, which reduces the refrigerant charge by 30%. The SA-800 can be paired with two separate condensers and compressors to provide another level of system redundancy.