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Liebherr on track with CO2 AC system

AUSTRIA: A CO2 air conditioning system from German manufacturer Liebherr has been successfully tested in a passenger train in Austria.

The air conditioner is the result of the Eco2jet research project funded by the Austrian Climate Energy Fund and supported by the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG), Vienna.

Liebherr-Transportation Systems worked with an Austrian consortium consisting of partners ATT advanced thermal technologies, IESTA, Obrist Engineering, Österreichische Bundesbahnen – ÖBB, Rupert Fertinger, TU-Graz and Virtual Vehicle Competence Centre.

The aim of the project was to develop an environmentally friendly CO2 air conditioning system for rail vehicles as an alternative to HVAC systems operated with conventional refrigerants. To this end, a near-production fast track demonstrator (FTD) for an HVAC system with heat pump function using CO2 was developed and installed in a passenger coach from the Railjet fleet operated by ÖBB.

The Eco2jet HVAC system is targeting an increase in energy efficiency of at least 30% compared to conventional systems. It aims to transfer the technology to non-rail vehicles such as trucks, cars, agriculture machines or airplanes.

Liebherr had previously tested the FTD in a climatic chamber and then, in cooperation with ÖBB, recorded and evaluated the performance of the system in regular train operation under real conditions. In the more than three-year Eco2jet demonstration phase from May 2018 to August 2021, the air conditioning system with CO2 as refrigerant proved to be a reliable and technologically mature concept. 

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