Innovative cooling and air-conditioning solutions from MAHLE Behr Industry

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Stuttgart, Germany, September 2010—In today's engines, thermal management plays an increasingly important role. Following its acquisition of Behr Industry, MAHLE is now active in the market of complete cooling and air-conditioning solutions for off-highway vehicles and industrial applications.

The new MAHLE Behr Industry division supplies complete cooling and air-conditioning systems for building machines, agricultural machines, railroad vehicles, military vehicles, ships, buses, large engines, and wind power stations, to name just a few. To meet ever-stricter emission standards in off-highway applications while increasing specific output, processes both inside and outside the engine are being employed in much the same way as in the truck sector; these include cooled exhaust gas recirculation and dual-stage turbocharging with charge air cooling, as well as exhaust gas aftertreatment measures, such as SCR or diesel particulate filters.

For off-highway engines, MAHLE Behr Industry has taken a closer look at two scenarios: one that uses exclusively exhaust gas recirculation and another that uses primarily exhaust gas recirculation, but also SCR technology. The hybrid system operates with an EGR rate of 23–27%, resulting in very low NOx emissions; in combination with the SCR system, future Tier IV (USA) and EURO VI (Europe) emission standards can reliably be undercut. The EGR-only engine operates with an extremely high recirculation rate of 35–40% and consequently produces extremely low NOx emissions. Emission standards can thus be fulfilled without an additional SCR system—even in large-volume diesel engines in locomotives and ships with power outputs greater than 560 kilowatts.

The cooling system in both scenarios comprises two circuits. The first circuit cools the engine and the high-temperature EGR cooler. A second, independent, low-temperature circuit dissipates the heat from the second EGR cooler and the two indirect charge air coolers. Indirect cooling of the charge air presents several advantages: the engine reaches the operating temperature more quickly, the pressure losses are up to 50% lower, and it is possible to connect additional cooling elements to the low-temperature circuit.

Another one of MAHLE Behr Industry's innovative air-conditioning solutions is the driver's seat air-conditioning unit for buses. At only 16–17 kilograms, this front box weighs only half as much as the previous solution, owing to its intelligent, lightweight design. Besides providing air conditioning to the driver and co-driver seat, the front box also maintains a fog-free windshield, and its air and heat performance is more than 50% higher than units used for large-volume cabs in long-haul trucks.

The MAHLE Group is one of the 30 largest companies in the automotive supply industry worldwide. With its two business units Engine Systems and Components and Filtration and Engine Peripherals, MAHLE ranks among the top three systems suppliers worldwide for piston systems, cylinder components, as well as valve train, air management, and liquid management systems. The newly formed Industry business unit bundles the MAHLE Group's industrial activities. These include the areas of large engines, industrial filtration, as well as cooling and air-conditioning systems.

In 2009, the MAHLE Group generated sales of approximately EUR 3.9 billion; around 43,000 employees work at over 100 production plants and eight research and development centers.