An Experimental Procedure for Simulating an SC03 Emissions Test with Air Conditioner On 2004-01-0594
In a continuing effort to include real-world emissions in regulatory testing, the USEPA has included air conditioning operation as part of the Supplemental Federal Test Procedure (SFTP). Known as the SC03, these tests require automobile manufacturers to construct and maintain expensive environmental chambers. However, the regulations make allowances for a simulation test, if one can be shown to demonstrate correlation with the SFTP results. We present the results from an experiment on a 1998 Ford sedan, which simulates the heat load of a full environmental chamber. Moreover, the test procedure is simpler and more cost effective. The process essentially involves heating the condenser of the air conditioning system by using the heat of the engine, rather than heating the entire vehicle. The results indicate that if the head pressure is used as a feedback signal to the radiator fan, the load generated by a full environmental chamber can be duplicated. The NOx emissions and fuel economy results follow. Additional vehicles will need to be tested before the test procedure can be conclusively proven.