HISTORY OF AIR CONDITIONING & HEATING IN AUTO

 
 
 
 
HISTORY OF AIR CONDITIONING AND HEATING IN AUTOMOBILES

In mid-1990, Givens (1990) presented the first of a three-part series of articles on the technical history of automobiles. Unfortunately, completed in succeeding months, the series did not address heating or air conditioning subsystems used in autos at any stage of their development. Other authors' works reviewed here are likewise directed solely to their own alleged improvements to heaters or air conditioners and are not even claimed to be for cars of one manufacturer or conglomerate or another -- foreign or domestic.

The history of automobile air conditioning, in particular -- as opposed to the history of vehicle heating, can be inferred from the biographical materials reviewed here concerning several pioneers of space air conditioning. Of particular interest is the return of modern researchers -- for thermodynamically compelling reasons -- to the use of carbon dioxide as a refrigerant, after many decades of its abandonment following its 1920's use in the earliest public-building air conditioners.

Curhan has claimed that "over the past several years . . . recent trends" in vehicle engine designs have led to efficiency improvements but consequent decreases in the availability of 'waste' heat for passenger compartment heating (Curhan, 1990, p. 55). Curhan asserted that three available options for overcoming the drop in available heat to be dispersed through conventi

     
 
 
 
    

 

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