Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Ford EcoSport's Climate Control System is Designed to Keep You Cool

With the summer heat pushing the mercury past 40 degrees Celsius, one of the easiest ways to get cool quickly is to hop into the all-new Ford EcoSport. The air-conditioning system in the urban SUV is so effective that within 10 minutes of starting the engine, you’d be so comfortable that you’d have forgotten how hot it is outside.

A vehicle that has been sitting under the afternoon sun can get as hot as 65 to 70 degrees inside. The Ford EcoSport’s climate control system can pull this sweltering interior temperature down to under 30 degrees in just 10 minutes. In the same amount of time, the temperature of the air that is coming out of the vent is below 10 degrees, compared to other vehicles which can manage just 15 degrees. And in half an hour, the in-car temperature drops to 20 degrees.

The capability of the manual and automatic climate control systems is the same but on the latter, all customers need to do is to input their desired temperature, say 22 degrees, on the dial. The system does the rest – ramp the fan up high, turn the cooling to the maximum, and recirculate the air. The system uses five sensors to measure the interior temperature, the outside temperature, the temperature of the air coming out of the vents, as well as the sun load and the direction it’s coming into the Ford EcoSport, to decide when it can dial down the fan and the cooling.

“The system is designed to cool down the vehicle very fast at maximum fan and air velocity. This performance allows you to reduce the blower fan speed (and airflow) quicker and allow the customer to maintain comfort in a quieter environment,” said Paul Merlo, climate control supervisor, Ford South America.

“On the all-new Ford EcoSport, the electronic automatic climate control system can start turning the fan down in just five or six minutes even if the starting interior temperature was 60 to 70 degrees. That’s how effective it is,” said Merlo.

The climate control system on the all-new Ford EcoSport is a new global system that is used on other Ford vehicles around the world. Ford engineers have implemented various technologies in the system to deliver outstanding performance and have implemented a new energy efficient variable compressor technology, which reduces the power and fuel consumption over prior technologies. This means the occupants can enjoy cool comfort without worrying about high fuel bills.

Unlike a conventional compressor that runs all the time at maximum output, the variable compressor in the Ford EcoSport reduces its internal displacement when it has cooled the cabin down thereby reducing the amount of power it needs to draw from the engine. The system continues to keep the occupants cool without using much fuel. The variable compressor also uses an oil separator technology for increased efficiency.

Other technologies include the latest internal Heat Exchange technology which increases cooling performance. This is complemented by superior joint fittings in the air-conditioning lines to virtually eliminate refrigerant leakage and maximize performance. The high-capacity condenser is fully sealed for better cooling and aerodynamic performance.

Using the latest tube and fin evaporator technology, the engineers also ensured higher airflow and better airflow distribution to get more cold air to the occupants quicker. Improved door sealing meant fewer leaks so that the cooled air remains in the cabin.

To ensure the Ford EcoSport’s climate control system can handle all weather conditions, it was tested in temperatures form -20 to 50 degrees, from snow to desert conditions, and at humidity levels between 15 and 90 percent. It also went through at least 1,000 hours of testing in the climatic wind tunnel in Dearborn.

Both the wind tunnel tests and on-road evaluation drives check how well the system can cool the SUV down when it is hot and how fast it can warm the SUV up when it is cold. The Ford EcoSport was also tested to handle changes in the ambient conditions, such as how the system copes as the temperature rises when one drives down from a mountain top.

For those living in cold climates, the automatic climate control system comes with a fast defogging button that can clear most of the windscreen of a layer of ice in 15 minutes. The engineers made sure that the hot air is distributed efficiently to both the windscreen and the side windows, so that the driver can see the side mirrors in order to drive-off.

“At the end of the day, people just want to get comfortable in their vehicle as fast as possible,” said Merlo. “The all-new Ford EcoSport gets the cabin temperature to where the customers want in a quick, effective and more importantly, a fuel-economical way.”

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