Full steam ahead for Coachair

By: Paul Aldridge

The latest Coachair unit is the XT353 system, which is a brushless, industrial-style system using unloading compressor for maximum fuel economy.

Full steam ahead for Coachair
The Coachair team at the Australian Bus + Coach Show


"The compressor on this unit does not run 100 per cent of the time," Coachair director of sales and marketing Tim Mamo says.

 "It only engages the compressor for cooling or dehumidification by using unloading, which is a big factor in fuel economy. It saves two to five litres of fuel for every 100 kilometres.

"Our system only uses solid-state relays to control fans using an all-digital PWM signal for fan speed, this allows for long component and fan motor life."

It is a wide-body unit allowing conditioned air to enter directly into the bus or coach air duct system, eliminating the need for transition ducts. Coachair has designed the XT Series to handle the hot Australian summer conditions and for quiet operation. The system has a large 39kW cooling and 38kW heating capacity.

The Coachair system has automatic climate control and dehumidification operation incorporating a blend of refrigerated air and heat. This ‘smart logic’ feature enables the air-conditioning system to automatically adjust the cabin temperature setting based on ambient temperature and conditions.

The automatic dehumidification feature is another fuel-efficient feature. By not automatically engaging the compressor unless it is required, Coachair units only use this unloading technology. If temperature conditions don’t require dehumidification, the compressor will only engage when cooling is required. This same feature also allows for quicker heating on cold days too.

Coachair water valves are made of high quality brass, rather than plastic and use variable controlled actuator for efficient temperature control. Its units are designed to be easily repaired using no analogue switching.

"We actually have a new design controller coming out in late 2017," Mamo says. "We will be designing a new control program in Melbourne over the next year, further focusing on fuel economy and passenger comfort."

Coachair is 100 per cent Australian owned. It is a privately owned – originally by the Denning family – Australian business that has been operating since 1978. Coachair only sells its systems in Australia and all of its units are designed specifically for the harsh Australian conditions.

Mamo says the all-Australian design is one of the distinct advantages of Coachair units.

"Our electronic and control systems are manufactured in Brisbane, and are quickly and readily available for our customers – so no worries about overseas shipping delays," he says. "These climate control units were originally designed and manufactured in the 1990s, way ahead of the competition; we still use the same units today but they have been constantly perfected and refined over the years."

Coachair believes running costs and economy are very important to both operators and the environment, and they have some of the best units to achieve this on the market.

"Every Coachair product is designed with major consideration given to the whole of the unit, lifetime maintenance costs, and fuel efficiency in combination with the ease of maintenance," Mamo says.

All fan motors are industrial style with a life expectancy of over 10 years for the brushless unit.

"We pride ourselves on having the lowest lifetime maintenance costs of any bus HVAC system on the Australian market, covered by 24-hour, seven-day-a-week access to a technical support team."

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