New and stricter propellant regulations have been adopted to ensure that pumps are guaranteed leakproof. Alternative seals had already been tested for the old pumps, but the results were never satisfactory. Either the seal is not effective enough, or excessive friction leads to heat build-up, expansion and eventually jamming, which causes the pump to break. A study was conducted in collaboration with TEN agency, to finally come up with a working alternative.
Filling and emptying air conditioning units requires a pump to circulate the gas. There is no lack of expensive and slow pumps on the market, but use of the faster, ‘old-gen’ pumps is prohibited due to the high probability of gas escaping through the seals.
The challenge consists of making the old type of pump guaranteed leakproof in a way that is both simple and in accordance with the new regulations. A market survey which was translated into a comprehensive morphological map, explored and documented a range of possible seals and systems. Working from this knowledge database, we worked out a number of viable combinations for CPS to put to the test.