KARIYA, Japan DENSO announced it has developed a smaller and more efficient condenser, which helps increase fuel efficiency, while allowing carmakers to have greater design flexibility inside the engine compartment. Compared to conventional models, DENSO's new Global Inner-fin Condenser (GIC) is 30 percent smaller, the company states.
By exchanging heat with air, the condenser cools the high-pressure refrigerant vapor and condenses it into a liquid refrigerant. "To condense the vapor into a liquid refrigerant, the condenser must first remove the heat," said Akio Shikamura, senior executive director of DENSO's Thermal Systems Business Group. "Increasing the efficiency of the condenser's heat removal process is one way to improve the overall efficiency of the air-conditioning system, which improves vehicle fuel economy, and helps cool the cabin more quickly."
As carmakers worldwide are looking for increased fuel efficiency and more under-the-hood design flexibility, DENSO said it focused on developing a high-performance condenser that was more efficient, but also smaller than previous generations. To achieve the increase in efficiency, DENSO focused on increasing the heat removal performance of GIC, which is dependent upon the design of the components like tubes and fins. To more efficiently transfer the refrigerant's heat flowing in the tubes, the size of the tubes' inner fins were reduced and the density of inner fins inside each tube were maximized, which increased the heat transfer area by 20 percent.
In addition, despite how thin it is, the capacity of the inner fin tube was increased by 25 percent, compared to conventional models. The new inner-fin tube has 25 percent more room, which enables even more refrigerant to flow in the tube without increasing power consumption, DENSO says. This new design allows for the flexibility of new, more environmentally friendly refrigerants to be introduced in the future, the company adds.
DENSO said it further improved the GIC's heat removal process by increasing the number of louvers in each fin by 30 percent per unit area. Despite this increase in louvers, the size of the fin was not increased.
Combined, these innovations resulted in reducing the GIC product width from 16 mm to 11 mm, which is a 30 percent reduction in size from conventional models.
Not only is DENSO focused on developing efficient products, but it also places a great emphasis on manufacturing efficiency. The development of new processing technologies has allowed for the mass production of the GIC's inner fin at the same production speed as that of conventional tubes, which has helped maintain the company's productivity.
Also, in collaboration with materials suppliers, DENSO has succeeded in developing materials that offer excellent performance that surpasses those of conventional models. This development also has allowed for global procurement capability in different regions of the world.
The GIC is on the Toyota Corolla, which was launched in Japan on May 11. DENSO says it will continue its efforts to expand GIC to a much wider range of vehicles, as well as work to develop smaller, more efficient products.