When you work in innovation, most of the time you have to forget the way things are usually done and abandon ideas about how others have solved it. That’s how we, at Integralia started designing the air conditioning system for the ONE minibus: from scratch.
Before embarking on the project, we opted to divide the vehicle’s de-climatization process into different parts and decided to go into each of the system’s critical points individually. Spoiler alert: we succeeded. Here’s a summary of how we revolutionized the ventilation in a minibus in just four steps:
- The performance of the air equipment. From the moment it exits the turbines, until it reaches the passenger, the air flow has to follow a series of curves, ups and downs that cause significant air losses, with a consequent reduction in the performance of the air conditioning equipment. What did we do at Integralia? We carried out dynamic simulations to convert the labyrinth into a slide. At ONE, we managed to minimize the pressure loss and obtain the maximum performance of the equipment.
- Location, dimensions, and elements of the ventilation system. As you know, the dimensions of ONE are larger than the usual dimensions of a vehicle in its segment, so there was no standardized solution on the market that we could use. We had no choice but to design specific equipment for our minibus. We’ve developed a light, powerful, and balanced solution in which we have chosen larger and more powerful turbines that provide sufficient air flow to achieve an environmental shift in less time than usual. The luggage rack is another critical point in the ventilation elements because it is from there that the air comes into contact with the vehicle’s passengers. In the simulations we carried out, we found a solution that distributed the air evenly and abundantly, if necessary, and it was then, not before, that we designed the luggage racks.
- Vehicle insulation: How to protect the vehicle from the outside? An essential parameter if we don’t want to lose the temperature we have inside. We analyzed different options and implemented the most effective in protecting the performance of the ventilation equipment. The selected option minimizes temperature loss and extends the life of the air equipment. This insulation also has an impact on the absence of outside noise entering the vehicle since it also prevents sound from entering, double comfort with a single solution.
- Sensors and connectivity: How do we precisely know the thermal sensation of the passengers? The sensors are distributed inside the vehicle through a set of detectors directly connected to the Integralia Bus Board Control (IBBC), so the driver can manage the temperature inside the vehicle, modify the degrees in tenths of seconds, and maximize the comfort of passengers, all from the main screen.
Sound simple? A quick and summarized explanation of a process that took many months of work. The team’s goal was to maximize the quality of our minibuses, and this could not be achieved if the passengers in our vehicles were feeling hot or cold. At Integralia we are passionate about innovation, and we prove it in each of our projects. Was air conditioning going to resist?