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Behr America is developing a variety of industry-leading electric and hybrid-electric vehicle technologies as well as a variety of engine-mounted components for downsized engines which are on display at the SAE International World Congress in Detroit, April 12-14th.

Speaking to reporters at the show, Uwe Krueger, vice president of engineering for the company in North America, demonstrated the company’s new storage evaporator developed by Behr engineers for vehicles equipped with start-stop systems as well as an innovative Comfort Vent Air Conditioning System. Both have been selected as finalists in the prestigious 2011 Automotive News PACE Awards program.

“The need to improve fuel economy and lower emissions is essential in today’s marketplace,” said Krueger. “As a leader in automotive air conditioning, engine cooling systems and battery thermal management, we are uniquely positioned to provide the industry with safe, comfortable and ecologically sound thermal management systems.”

Storage Evaporator for Vehicles with Start-Stop Systems

Hybrid vehicles are equipped with a start-stop function that shuts off the engine when the vehicle is stopped or idling, reducing emissions and lowering fuel consumption. Some of that fuel conservation is due to the air conditioning compressor being switched off as well. In doing that, however, temperature inside the vehicle rises quickly making it uncomfortable for occupants.

To alleviate that condition, Behr engineers have developed a storage evaporator which helps maintain cabin temperatures and air flow up to 95 per cent of all idle stops in city traffic. The air flowing into the vehicle is adequately cooled by the latent medium, even during vehicle stops.

Comfort Vent Air Conditioning Systems

Behr also has developed the world’s first air-conditioning system where driver and passengers have the option of varying not only the direction of the air outflow, but also the type of outflow as well.

“When an occupant chooses the ‘spot-flow’ option, the airflow is highly concentrated on one point for a maximum cooling effect,” said Krueger. “‘Diffuse-flow’ allows the airflow to spread across a wide area of the vehicle’s interior, creating a pleasant, virtually draft-free airflow,” he continued. “‘Combined-maximum-flow’ blends the two basic functions, spot and diffuse-flow, which can be combined as desired, allowing driver and passengers to set their own individual ‘feel-good airflow’.”

In addition, the system has more cooling power and is quieter when compared to other systems. It also optimizes cabin air quality.

A variety of Behr’s engine-mounted components contribute to new environmentally friendly gasoline-and diesel-powered vehicles with significantly improved fuel economy. New charge-air coolers for turbocharged engines and engine-mounted charge-air coolers for gasoline engines enable engineers to downsize engines without compromising power.

Products such as charge air coolers, EGR coolers, exhaust heat-management systems and Visco clutches also provide for fuel efficiency improvements while making vehicles more environmentally sustainable.

Behr’s North American headquarters is in Troy, Michigan. Behr America has nearly 2,200 employees at facilities in Troy, Mich.; Dayton, Ohio; Charleston, S.C.; Fort Worth, Texas, and Ramos Arizpe, Mexico.

Behr GmbH & Co. KG, Stuttgart, Germany, is a systems partner for the international automobile industry. A specialist for automotive air-conditioning and engine-cooling systems, the Behr Group is one of the world’s leading manufacturers and suppliers of original equipment for passenger and commercial vehicles. Group sales in the 2009 business year came to approximately $3.5 billion. Currently, Behr employs approximately 16,000 staff at 17 development locations, 28 production locations and 12 joint ventures worldwide.

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