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Auxiliary air conditioners for truckers

Relaxing breaks for every trucker: the new high-performance generation of efficient CoolAir auxiliary air conditioners from Dometic.


Truckers often spend several days behind the wheel, driving thousands of kilometers and living in their trucks the whole time. There they do their paperwork, prepare their meals, and sleep in the cab.

In the summer months or in hot regions, that can be especially challenging. The new CoolAir auxiliary air conditioners from Dometic provide for a perfect climate in the cab, so drivers can keep a cool head even when it’s hot outside. That’s not only comfortable, it’s also good for safety. Drivers who have had enough sleep can concentrate better in traffic.

To get maximum air flow, for example, we use a new blade geometry from ebm-papst for the evaporator fan.

Daniel Westendarp, Global Product Manager at Dometic

No rude awakening

Dometic has been developing auxiliary air conditioners for trucks for more than ten years. Daniel Westendarp, Global Product Manager at Dometic, says “Customer requirements have changed a lot in the past ten years. Drivers want it cooler, and for as long as possible.”

In a shop, mechatronics engineers can install an auxiliary air conditioner in only a few steps. (Photo | Dometic)

In a shop, mechatronics engineers can install an auxiliary air conditioner in only a few steps. (Photo | Dometic)

Westendarp and his team took up the challenge, developing a new generation of compressor air conditioners that can deliver sufficient cooling output with low energy consumption for long periods even during breaks on hot summer days, whether in southern Europe or the Middle East.

With the engine switched off, the RTX 1000 cools the cab with 1,200 watts for up to twelve hours at central European temperatures. And in eco mode, the RTX 2000 can keep going with up to 2,000 watts for an entire weekend.

The technology has been field-tested in Australia. “That requires top efficiency from every single component in the system,” says Westendarp. The entire plug & play system is designed for 24 volts and is operated using the truck battery. The output can be adjusted in seconds using the display or via remote control with one of the four modes: auto, eco, manual and boost.

To get powerful, efficient and compact fans for a 24-volt application, you have to work with specialists.

Daniel Westendarp, Global Product Manager at Dometic

An integrated voltage monitor with a sensor circuit checks the battery’s charging level. “Under no circumstances can the battery be allowed to discharge too far. Nothing could be worse for the driver than to spend a pleasantly cool night, only to be stuck at the rest stop,” says Westendarp.

Fans made to measure for wind and weather

The experts at Dometic formulated their requirements and approached ebm-papst. “To get powerful, efficient and compact fans for a 24-volt application, you have to work with specialists,” says Daniel Westendarp. 

With the engine switched off, the RTX 1000 cools the cab with 1,200 watts for up to twelve hours. (Photo | Dometic)

With the engine switched off, the RTX 1000 cools the cab with 1,200 watts for up to twelve hours. (Photo | Dometic)

And the air conditioner is mounted throughout the year on the truck’s roof, so the individual components – especially the condenser fan, which is installed in the top part – have to resist rain, snow, ice, UV radiation and corrosion. Simply buying an off-the-shelf product is not enough for such special requirements.

Together they modified existing condenser and evaporator fans. “To get maximum air flow, for example, we use a new blade geometry from ebm-papst for the evaporator fan.” That enabled them to generate high output with low energy consumption in a compact design.

The compact design is so important because the system is usually built into the truck’s roof hatch. In a shop, mechatronics engineers can install an auxiliary air conditioner in only a few steps. Whether the unit is to be retrofitted or installed at the factory, it is compatible with the majority of current truck types.

 

More about Dometic CoolAir auxiliary air conditioners.

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