F-150 gets Bergstrom no-idle, electric A/C

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Bergstrom’s no-idle A/C for Ford F-150Bergstrom’s no-idle A/C for Ford F-150

Though the engine was off, the A/C on an F-150 was working surprisingly well inside the Indianapolis Convention Center this week at the Work Truck Show.

Bergstrom, which is known its for no-idle climate control systems on Class 8 trucks, is seeking partners to conduct field trials for a smaller version of its battery-based system on lighter class vehicles, such as pickup trucks.

“Vehicles are moving towards more fuel economy, but necessarily more hybridization. It’s too expensive. Here you can have something relatively inexpensive and improve fuel economy and keep the occupant cool at the same time,” said Sean Connell, Bergstrom’s technical director.

The 5,000-BTU system has been installed on the F-150 for about a month now and is integrated into the vehicle’s existing HVAC system. During testing, Bergstrom’s no-idle A/C was able to pull down 100-degree ambient air temperature to 73 degrees, Connell explained.

“With a standard battery set up you can run anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour or more depending on outside conditions,” Connell said.

An electric micro compressor was mounted behind the grill, in front of the condenser. The system shares one AGM battery with the truck. Mechanical check valves are used to isolate the system (see photos below).

“We have some options with electronic check valves also depending on the application. When the engine turns off the electric compressor turns on and keeps it cool,” Connell said.

Bergstrom has been producing no-idle climate control systems in Class 8 trucks for about 10 years.

“We’ve since been able to miniaturize all of the technology and now we’re able to use it in pickups, municipality vehicles, whatever it may be,” Connell said.

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