Thermo King, a subsidiary of Ingersoll Rand, has developed a new patent-pending, efficient heating and cooling system for school and shuttle buses. The modular unit is designed to address industry challenges: the need for integrated design, easier accessibility for regular maintenance and uniform air flow.
The Slim Line Rooftop A/C unit (SLR) combines an ultra-low, lightweight rooftop design that is environmentally friendly and provides a lower refrigerant charge than conventional systems and can be installed in the middle of the bus for more uniform air flow.
The modular design reduces the installation time and the system configuration allows for 90 percent of the maintenance to be performed from inside the bus.
“As more public and private bus manufacturers and operators seek to find efficient solutions for eco-friendly fleets, the Thermo King team is proud to offer customers one of the most innovative designs on the market to effectively meet these needs,” said Martin Duffy, vice president, global bus and rail HVAC, at Thermo King. “The sleek, aerodynamic design takes our engineering to new levels for the transportation industry.”
Thermo King engineers developed the system to address requirements from customers, while adhering to transportation guidelines. The ultra-low profile - measuring less than six inches above the roof and three-and-a-half inches inside the vehicle - provides significant space and energy savings.
Utilizing state of the art structural foam molding and weighing in at 130 pounds, the modular unit is easy to install and maintain, providing easy and safe access for maintenance from inside the bus - an industry first for roof-top systems, according to Duffy.
“The uniform air flow in the new Thermo King roof top unit covers the entire bus and is easily able to keep up with Florida’s 95+ degree days,” said Greg Hill, project manager for Advance Rural Low Floor Vehicle Project. “The unit’s low profile sets it apart from other roof top A/C units and helps to eliminate damage caused by low hanging tree limbs.
In addition, much of the maintenance of the unit is handled from inside the bus.”