Climate Control of choice?

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Climate Control of choice?

Postby Grenda Driver » Wed Jun 10, 2009 12:49 am

Today, I was on a Ventura Bubble Bus, with the Thermo King unit fitted. Now the outside temp was about 7 degrees, but inside the bus was a toasty 25 - 30 degrees. I've never been in a bus with a climate control that works so well, let alone a Thermo King unit.

On the Grenda's and MBL TK units, it's rare for the unit to do any thing decent in terms of heating, cooling i've haven't had a problem - apart from being rather noisy.

On the Dyson's units, on the higher numbered CR227's, they have a control unit - where the driver can decide what temp, fan and air intake settings are at - a rather nice piece of electronics to be honest, and my unit of ciose - just because of the control unit.

The slimline ThermoKing units seem to work better in terms of heating then the normal units i've noticed.

The CoachAir SRLT (SLRT?) are average, can't notice much heating or cooling to be honest.

The CoashAir XT units seem to be ok, nothing special in terms of heating, and cooling is moderate.

Denso - I can't comment on.

Carrier - I can't comment on



I'm just wondering what your a/c of choice is and why, whats its pros and cons?

Also, why with the difference in reliability with the Thermo King units, does it come down to maintenance, some settings somewhere... I'm just a little sick of the bus being freezing cold in the middle of winter, and having nothing to warm the passengers up with. Can't say it does anything good for customer relations.
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Re: Climate Control of choice?

Postby Set Down Only » Wed Jun 10, 2009 2:07 am

At least once a week i leave home at 7am out in the murbah cold and it's FREEZING!
I have been lucky enoug to get a VST with Coachair 'VST' (SRLT) and it's instantly a plesant temperature.
The temperature cannot be controlled on the VSTs, (not sure if it is standard for the unit)
the unit tries to keep the bus at a steady temp, but it does not always work.
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Re: Climate Control of choice?

Postby Bus-1809 » Wed Jun 10, 2009 10:52 am

Perth's Early O405NH's have the 'Non Adjutable' Coachair Controller. They are set at a constant 22 Degrees C.
The later ones however, have an adjustable controller, and are great!

As a passenger, During the winter months, I much prefer the comfort of a Coachair SRLT, but come summer, gimme that ThermoKing all the way!

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Re: Climate Control of choice?

Postby Silver Eagle » Wed Jun 10, 2009 11:32 am

i tend to find they're all much of a muchness. The majority of A/C units these days rely purely on engine coolant to produce heat, therefore you'll often find the heat from the A/C has more to do with the efficency of the engine cooling system than the A/C unit itself. The smaller the engine the more laod you can put it under therefore the quicker you can raise the coolant temperature for the A/C - for example, in the same body spec with a B7 will warm much quicker than with a B12. Obviously the load the vehicle is under will also effect the heating efficiency - a coach with ten pensioners on a morning tour will be much harder to warm up than one fully loaded with 50 Germans and 10 000 bags (frustratingly).
Also some European vehicle with hydraulic retarders (notably Scania) can use the retarder to warm the coolant. A lot of Scanias have a particular start up sequence where the retarder is on permantly for the precise resaon of warming the coolant quickly and therefore getting the A/C warm as well (as the coolant system is used to cool the retarder as well).
At the end of the day, just like in cars, if the vehicle is running hotter, then the A/C will warm more efficiently.

There are some operators that still operate floor heaters, and a lot of older vehicles that still have them - but becoming less common.

*as an afterthought, might also add that the location of the A/C can also make quite a difference - front mounted A/C pods on rear engined vehicles are less efficient than rear mounted ones as the coolant has to travel the length of the roof to reach the A/C unit - during which time it is obviously getting cooler (more problematic on cooler days). The efficiency of the heater pumps (which pump the coolant to the A/C unit) can be quite telling*
Last edited by Silver Eagle on Wed Jun 10, 2009 1:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Climate Control of choice?

Postby Connex » Wed Jun 10, 2009 12:16 pm

Grenda Driver wrote:Also, why with the difference in reliability with the Thermo King units, does it come down to maintenance, some settings somewhere... I'm just a little sick of the bus being freezing cold in the middle of winter, and having nothing to warm the passengers up with. Can't say it does anything good for customer relations.

It's interesting that you've brought up the subject of the Thermo King units. I guess it all comes down to the settings I guess.

I've never been a big fan of Thermo King units, especially the ones that Grenda use, half the time they're either blowing out cold air on a freezing cold day, or doing absolutely nothing at all. But, there are some units that do work well, G232 is one.
Connex's X'Trapolis trains are fitted with Thermo King air air-conditioning pods, like the units that Grenda use, half the time they're absolutely useless. In winter they blow out cold air, on a hot day, they're as stuffy as all hell because they air-con is either on the blink, or hot air is being pumped into the carriage. It's apparently worse in the driver's cab. No wonder the drivers call them X'Crappers. :roll: . Don't know what units the Siemens sets use, but they're bloody fantastic.

Denso does the job extremely well, the units that were fitted to the earlier model Bubbles, Evo's and the second batch of the Orbitors usually get the job done well. (LDi8 I think they're called?) Ventura's Scania K230UB 928's air conditioner is absolutely fantastic in the summer, blowing out a comfortable 22C on a 38C day, but like most buses when the air conditioner is working overtime, idle like all hell. Heating is quite good.

The Carrier units on the Invicta early Scania L94UB's, especially the CB60's, are absolutely useless, you might as well not have even bothered to fit them with those crappy units. I think 86 had its units replaced with a larger Carrier unit, but I haven't really experienced much of a difference. The Carrier units on the Invicta SmartBuses do an alright job.

Bottom line, I guess its all down to how the operator maintains the unit, and what the on-board computer tell it to do.
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Re: Climate Control of choice?

Postby PRT 065 » Wed Jun 10, 2009 4:12 pm

Dont have a windscreen :lol: eg on the ferrys in brisbane it is much nicer standing out on the deck rather then the inside
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Re: Climate Control of choice?

Postby Dennis96 » Wed Jun 10, 2009 5:37 pm

With modern air conditioned city buses such as the Mercedes benz 0405NH, is the airconditioning reverse cycle, such as in an electric railcar which of course doesn't have an engine cooling radiator. If so, then the heating cycle wouldn't be reliant on coolant from the engine for heating? ie no long pipes from the rear mounted radiator to the air conditioning unit.

On the newer Transperth buses on cold days when the air conditioning is generating warm air, it seems to come out of the same ducts as cold air on warm days, - suggesting to me the system for cooling the passenger saloon is reverse cycle. Maybe the windscreen demisters still rely on heat from the engine as per the 0305s which have a coil below th ewindscreen and pipes running from the engine carrying the warm coolant?
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Re: Climate Control of choice?

Postby Silver Eagle » Wed Jun 10, 2009 6:53 pm

Don't mean to be nitpicking but I would be surprised if that is the case - the power required to run reverse cycle that you're referring to is very high - fine for a electric train (or home application with 240 volt) but a diesel bus/coach simply isn't setup to produce that type of power output on an ongoing basis. I can't speak with much authority on buses, but certainly all the coaches that I have driven (from new to old), and cars and trucks on a smaller scale, still use this system of heating through the main A/C unit (i.e. engine coolant). I imagine the same or smaller style unit would be used on city buses.

This system is still reverse cycle - i.e. the same system produces heat and cold - and air comes out of the same vents - but he source of heat is the engine.
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Re: Climate Control of choice?

Postby Daz » Thu Jun 11, 2009 1:27 am

RE Reliabilty; I recently discovered that both Thermo-King and Carrier (such as the ones used on BCI's) released a series of units built in China under license which were of an inferior quality. These dodgy units are no longer used.

Lou-Air proudly advertises the fact that all his products are "Australian Engineered", he just forgets to mention that they're MADE IN CHINA and are of a much lesser quality than locally made things.
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Re: Climate Control of choice?

Postby Set Down Only » Thu Jun 11, 2009 9:20 am

037291 wrote:Dont have a windscreen :lol: eg on the ferrys in brisbane it is much nicer standing out on the deck rather then the inside

What do you do for the heating cycle?

The thermokings on surfside's older bustechs is crap
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Re: Climate Control of choice?

Postby PoweredByCNG » Thu Jun 11, 2009 11:27 am

The Thermo Kings on top of the Transperth Volgrens are excellent. Airflow is simply outstanding - it takes a matter of minutes to coold (read: freeze) the entire vehicular cabin during a hot summer day. Coachairs in comparison are totally useless. For some reason the Thermo Kings on top of MAN artic 3001 barely work and do nothing but pump hot air...

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Re: Climate Control of choice?

Postby Set Down Only » Thu Jun 11, 2009 11:49 am

they obviously aren't 10 years old!
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Re: Climate Control of choice?

Postby PRT 065 » Sat Jun 13, 2009 8:21 am

BUSTECH Rules wrote:
037291 wrote:Dont have a windscreen :lol: eg on the ferrys in brisbane it is much nicer standing out on the deck rather then the inside

What do you do for the heating cycle?


:lol: :lol: Wear a Jumper or have a flip down windscreen with heaters inside :lol: :lol: :lol:

Also with Articulated Buses With 2 Ac pods How would they share power etc. to get them to run
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Re: Climate Control of choice?

Postby Mr Scania » Sat Jun 13, 2009 8:43 am

When a/c is working properly and used properly (driver training is sometimes a problem) there is no need to use the demister as this will often fog up the windscreen.
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Re: Climate Control of choice?

Postby KenworthT404 » Sat Jun 13, 2009 8:51 am

Coachair SRLT for me.
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Re: Climate Control of choice?

Postby C130 » Sat Jun 13, 2009 2:01 pm

Flinders Flyer wrote:Denso does the job extremely well, the units that were fitted to the earlier model Bubbles, Evo's and the second batch of the Orbitors usually get the job done well. (LDi8 I think they're called?)

Close, but not exact- there LD8i :wink:
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Re: Climate Control of choice?

Postby dunny » Mon Jun 15, 2009 4:01 pm

Dennis96 wrote:With modern air conditioned city buses such as the Mercedes benz 0405NH, is the airconditioning reverse cycle, such as in an electric railcar which of course doesn't have an engine cooling radiator. If so, then the heating cycle wouldn't be reliant on coolant from the engine for heating? ie no long pipes from the rear mounted radiator to the air conditioning unit.

On the newer Transperth buses on cold days when the air conditioning is generating warm air, it seems to come out of the same ducts as cold air on warm days, - suggesting to me the system for cooling the passenger saloon is reverse cycle. Maybe the windscreen demisters still rely on heat from the engine as per the 0305s which have a coil below th ewindscreen and pipes running from the engine carrying the warm coolant?


Air does come out from the same ducts, but it is not reverse cycle. Bus A/C units have a heater core after the A/C evaporator which heats the air when neccessary to maintain a constant temperature. The heater core has coolant flowing through it from the engine. The heater cores have an electric water valve which regulates the flow of hot water through it. The return air sensor then measures the air temp in the bus and if it is too cold the water valve allows more water to flow into the heater cores.

As already mentioned this system works fine, but the engine temperature must be up. The other problem with a lot of units is the heater cores slowly block up as the engine coolant is not changed regularly enough, which results in insufficient heating.

This system is not reverse cycle. Reverse cycle is when an A/C system reverses its cycle and works in reverse to how it normally works when cooling.
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Re: Climate Control of choice?

Postby Dennis96 » Mon Jun 15, 2009 8:50 pm

Thanks for the explanation Dunny. It sounds perfectly logical too. One of the bettwer aspects of ATDB is when people like you explain how things work in a manner that non technical people can easily understand. Thank you.
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Re: Climate Control of choice?

Postby boronia » Mon Jun 15, 2009 9:36 pm

Despite a/c, most STA buses I have seen recently during wet weather have fogged up windows.

How effective is trying to blow warm air downwards, when it has a natural tendency to rise?

My past experiences with a/c coaches used floor heaters in conjunction with overhead cooling, all controlled by the thermostat settings. Getting the right match gave a very comfortable interior and not a sign of misting.
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Re: Climate Control of choice?

Postby VQ » Mon Jun 15, 2009 10:49 pm

I agree, the thermoking units on the Ventura Designlines, buses 641> are great to work on too, and they actually make a temperature, the denso unit's aren't anywhere near as good.

I remember catching grenda buses and being colder then outside because the a/c didn't know how to go onto heat.
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Re: Climate Control of choice?

Postby AL » Mon Jun 15, 2009 11:22 pm

My pick is Thermo-King. They're the most expensive in coaches, have good after-sales support and everyone seems to think they're the most reliable. Admittedly I had a dud unit which kept going through condensor fans and leaked gas out of numerous places on the compressor, but the sister coach wouldn't do it. Currently I've got an LRT in my coach and it does a decent job heating using coolant. This cold week it has been sitting on the 22 degree mark constantly.

From my days visiting air-con repair shops, Densos were apparently electrically complex but very reliable. Coachairs were simpler but equally as reliable. Carriers apparently suck. They're supposedly poorly and cheaply built. This was according to an authorised Carrier technician! Only drove one coach with a Carrier, and it was alright?

boronia wrote:My past experiences with a/c coaches used floor heaters in conjunction with overhead cooling, all controlled by the thermostat settings. Getting the right match gave a very comfortable interior and not a sign of misting.


Drove buses with Denso air-cons linked to floor heaters. It wouldn't run both concurrently so it was heater on only or air-con on only, then you had the problem of setting thermostats, 1 degree lower and the heaters ran full blast, 1 degree higher and it blew the coldest air at its maximum setting. Terrible!
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Re: Climate Control of choice?

Postby Grenda Driver » Tue Jun 16, 2009 1:07 am

Well it seems to be a problem in the unit itseld somewhere, as the Dyson's L94UB's with ThermoKing units that have the controller, in which the driver can control the airflow/temp/inflow/ac/etc.... Are awesome, they heat well, cool well and just are a great unit all round.

BUT the units at Grenda's (B12BLE's/OC500LE), that are meant to be automatic, are just shocking - a tiny fraction, if any at all, ever worked in Winter.....

Would it raise the price of the unit that much to have the driver control unit installed?

Even the L94UB's at MBL are just as shocking.... How can it be so much different from its counterpart at a different company?
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Re: Climate Control of choice?

Postby Stoney! » Thu Jun 18, 2009 10:22 pm

I think a lot of variances can also come from the chassis they are on also. THe O500LE CNG's at STA seem to keep A LOT cooler throughout the bus that the B12BLE's, with the B12's having a lot more heat radiating up through the floor. Also can depend on if the temp's are set properly.

Thermokings work very well in summer set to 22, unless of course its on an STA B12BLEA! In winter They never seem to get set to a higher temp and unfortunately 22 still seems to be too close to the 'cold' threshold, and they either do nothing or blow cold air which is annoying.

My fav will always be denso.

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Re: Climate Control of choice?

Postby Mercedes » Thu Jun 18, 2009 10:51 pm

Stoney,
Come ride one of our units with Thermo king!!! you'll roast when its cold outside :lol: same witht he coachairs :lol:
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Re: Climate Control of choice?

Postby Daz » Sat Jun 20, 2009 2:24 pm

What about the good old DWH100 air-con?
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