When passengers travel by bus, coach or rail, what makes a real impression? Is it the visual styling or quietness of the vehicle’s engine? Is it the comfort of the seats? After recently expanding its presence in Australia, air-conditioning and HVAC company Hispacold believes that comfort is largely impacted by the air breathed throughout the journey.
It’s this unseen factor that Hispacold says can make or break the passenger experience, with technology advancements making air conditioning and air purification more important than ever before for buses and coaches travelled on today.
Hispacold is intent on making the passenger experience more comfortable through HVAC systems down under after recently making a new commitment to the Australian market.
“The important parts have come together for us to offer more in Australia,” Hispacold Australia business manager Cathy Arbon told ABC.
“There’s no doubt that serviceability always presents the greatest challenge in a country as big as Australia, so we wanted to be sure we could commit to a standard and accessibility of customer support for the long haul.”
With more than 40 years of leadership operating in more than 100 countries across five continents, Hispacold has plenty of air-conditioning expertise to bring to Australia. While Hispacold globally designs, manufactures and supplies HVAC systems for fuel, hybrid and electric buses and coaches, along with rail vehicles, in Australia it has focused on supporting spare parts for local coaches.
Now, Arbon says Hispacold’s latest focus on Australia allows the brand to truly arrive and cement itself as a HVAC supplier of choice for local customers.
“With our factory and staffing expansion, we now have the network, expertise and inventory to be the reliable supplier for all coaches on the market in Australia and the Asia Pacific region,” Arbon says.
This renewed focus on Australian Hispacold products starts with global specifications that are tailored to local applications. Arbon says good design is only one part of a great HVAC system that can perform under different conditions and coaches.
To take it to the next level, combining design, power and sustainability into a range of HVAC systems covering all electromobility needs allows Hispacold products to perform in any climate or transport application, whether it be city, intercity or regional coach scenarios.
“Hispacold systems are tried and tested in the hottest and coldest of climates around the world, so it’s well prepared for what Australian coaches face,” Arbon says.
“Our Breeze 200 Diesel and Breeze 200e/200HP (with the choice of electric or heat pump) are most suited to Australian weather conditions.”
While Hispacold remains committed to the perfectly climate-controlled journey, Arbon knows that running costs and environmental costs are important factors for customers. It’s why Hispacold has spent years building on the energy efficiency of its systems.
Starting from the weight of the units, Hispacold has lowered the kW/Kg ratio, increasing fresh airflow while also installing a CO2 sensor to control indoor air quality. This results in less fresh air flowing during unfavourable conditions, creating a balance between air quality and consumption, while brushless motors reduce consumption further.
These minute details are key reasons behind Hispacold systems featuring on leading coach and rail bodies around the world, including on Irizar products.
“When you have invested in an Irizar for its superior comfort, safety and reliability, you want to match all additional systems to the same high standard,” Irizar Asia Pacific managing director Steve Heanes told ABC.
“Hispacold gives us that confidence.”
This efficiency focus is made clear on Hispacold’s Breeze range. Meeting the optimal industry standard and made suitable to work with R134a and R513a to decrease environmental impact, the range delivers on Hispacold’s commitments to sustainability that track back to 2006 when it first began focusing on reducing the environmental impact in its range of systems.
Yet sustainability has also recently been combined with air quality, with the COVID pandemic spurring Hispacold to shift focus from only air-conditioning to also incorporating air purification.
“Coaches have a limited capacity for air renewal due to the difficulty of incorporating ventilation systems with appropriate indoor air renovation rates,” Arbon says.
“While we can introduce ambient air inside passengers’ compartments, this air also contains external pollution, so there’s a need to purify it as much as possible to create the cleanest and safest air.”
To tackle this challenge, Hispacold developed eco3, an air purifier that eliminates viruses, including SARS-CoV-2, microorganisms, germs and allergens, while also neutralising bad odours.
Arbon says eco3 is based on improving oxygen concentration in the air and maintaining it at suitable levels for passenger comfort and safety, particularly when traffic pollution, dust and coastal air are present around Australia.
“While a full HVAC system is a significant investment for your bus or coach, the eco3 is the cherry on top,” Arbon says.
“It’s placed on the suction side of the HVAC system and starts operation automatically every time the HVAC operates with minimal power.”
The final part of Hispacold’s commitment to Australia includes life cycle costs, as Hispacold Australia aftersales manager Dean Haverkamp says there’s a number of factors at play to keep costs low on Hispacold systems.
“From a simple parts perspective, there’s a reduced number of refrigerant connections and refrigerant circuit design in accordance with IMACA regulation for decreasing gas leaks,” Haverkamp told ABC.
“It’s an incredibly maintenance-friendly system with brushless motors, its case dismount design and fewer connections overall.”
Arbon says these systems prove there’s diagnostics technology available to improve life cycle costs of HVAC systems. With these hard-working units now keeping more passengers safe across Australian buses and coaches, Hispacold is using features such as battery thermal management systems (BTMS) to reduce operating hours for compressors.
In line with Hispacold’s values, these features continue the brand’s tradition of producing systems that work hard for not only passengers, but fleet managers too.
“Clean air and comfort for passengers, alongside efficient operations and a low cost for fleets, are what we are committed to providing to the local market,” Arbon says.
“With the ability to fit our HVAC systems to any coach, Hispacold is bound to create a wave of fresh air as it brings its global strengths to the Australian industry.”