We like to provide a good climate on our trains. We are currently testing new air conditioning systems in our trains, which cool and heat the air using natural refrigerants. These take the place of conventional synthetic refrigerants and protect the environment.
We are conducting initial tests at DB Regio in Baden-Württemberg with air conditioning systems built by Kiepe Electric (a company of Knorr-Bremse Group). The first double-decker car equipped with such a system operates by Regionalverkehr Alb-Bodensee GmbH starting since January 2020. In the summer of 2020, the vehicle will also be in service with the Südostbayernbahn rail operator in Bavaria. A further test vehicle will be put on the tracks in spring 2021.
We are initially testing the new systems for one year. At the same time, we are in exchange with the industry about what the air conditioning system of the future will look like. Our prototypes will provide the first basic data for this.
The new refrigerants not only provide fresh air. They also reduce energy consumption and the use of synthetic refrigerants. The refrigerants used in the new systems are more environmentally friendly than traditional coolants.
Another advantage of the new air conditioning systems is that they not only cool the air in the summer, but they also provide heating in the winter thanks to an integral heat pump.
As a matter of interest, we have had eco-friendly air conditioning systems in our ICE 3 trains for around 20 years now. This has contributed toward reducing our energy footprint and protecting the environment.