The SuperTest HVAC/R centre at Ormeau in Queensland is being called on to undertake detailed capacity tests to validate prototype systems before going into commercial production.
In this unique test, on behalf of Queensland company Mobile Air Conditioning Services and Auto Electrical at Darra in Queensland, an exact mock-up of a cabin on a D11 bulldozer has been fitted with an electric drive compressor, powered by a bank of batteries which will keep the aircon running to the cabin, independent of the air conditioning system driven by the main engine. Gregg Chapman, owner of Mobile Air Conditioning Services, who developed the system, said bulldozers and other heavy earth moving equipment operating in the tropical heat of mining camps, usually shut down their engines during lunch breaks and waiting periods to conserve fuel and engine life, meaning the cabins quickly lost their cool.
With his system, which will go to market early in 2015, the aircon will run for up to four hours in high heat conditions on battery power. The testing he commissioned at SuperTest was so conclusive that he believes his air conditioning system will be capable of totally replacing the factory air which comes with the heavy equipment, rather than having to install two separate systems on each machine.
In the SuperTest environmental heat room, Mobile Air Conditioning Services technician Will McLuskie (left), worked with SuperTest technician Daniel Drennan to prove the capacity of the unusual air conditioning system.
The bulldozer cabin mock-up was mounted on a trailer to travel to the SuperTest centre, and it accurately replicates the air capacity and window glass areas of a real-life bulldozer cabin. The battery powered aircon system was mounted on the rear of the cabin mock-up for testing purposes.