Air Conditioner Reduction Project to Reduce Vehicle Fuel Use by 30%
A joint air conditioning (A/C) project between the DOE, NREL, EPA, Society of Automotive Engineers, and the automotive industry is officially underway. This Improved Mobile Air Conditioning (IMAC) project aims to deliver dramatic increases in the energy efficiency and substantial reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from the operation of motor vehicle A/C systems. A technical goal of the IMAC project is to reduce A/C thermal load by 30%, increase the coefficient of performance by 30%, and reduce emissions by 50%. NREL brings its expertise in fuel use and emissions modeling, as well as technology development to the project.
Why focus on A/C systems? Because about 7 billion gallons of fuel—about 5.5% of total national light-duty vehicle fuel use—are used annually just to cool vehicles in the United States.
The project was announced at the 15th Earth Technologies Forum and Mobile Air Conditioning Summit, Spring, 2004. Following this announcement, NREL presented a technical paper that describes the project's analysis methodology, national and world A/C fuel use, and potential fuel saved.