Research project led by Ricardo develops fuel-saving air-con system
11 May 2009

The Sentience project, an automotive technology research project led by British engineering firm Ricardo, has unveiled an intelligent air-conditioning system that could increase fuel economy by more than 10 per cent in real-world driving conditions.

EU calls for 'greener' air-con systems

Blog: the great air-con con

The system, called Enhanced Air Conditioning (EAC), works in conjunction with a hybrid or stop-start powertrain, ensuring that, when the motive power is purely electric or when the stop-start system cuts the engine, the air-con compressor does not run.

In the Sentience project testbed vehicle, a Ford Escape Hybrid, the system is also linked to a sophisticated mapping and mobile communication system that controls the speed and direction of the car. The EAC system can therefore predict potential stopping points, and can plan when the air-con may need to be switched off, further helping to reduce fuel consumption.

The Sentience project is a collaboration between Ricardo, Jaguar Land Rover, the Transport Research Laboratory, Ordnance Survey and Orange business Services.

Matt Rigby

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week