Climate control: Signals from space

Mar 13, 2014
Mercedes-Benz has systematically further enhanced and substantially improved the air conditioning system in the new C-Class. This applies in particular to the precise regulation, performance and the air quality.
Three climate control systems are available for the new C-Class Saloon:
  • THERMATIC as a single-zone automatic climate control system is standard on the models C 160, C 180 and C 180 BlueTEC, in each case with Audio 20.
  • THERMATIC as a two-zone automatic climate control system with separate controls for driver and front passenger is installed in all other models as well as with Audio 20 CD and optionally available.
  • THERMOTRONIC three-zone automatic climate control is optionally available, the only real such system in this segment. In addition to separate control for driver and front passenger, it provides the option of setting the temperature and air flow in the rear compartment. THERMOTRONIC furthermore has a residual engine heat function, which thanks to an electric auxiliary water pump allows residual heat operation when the ignition is switched off. It also offers a choice of three ventilation modes: Medium, Focus, Diffuse. In addition the system is equipped with a pollutant sensor to automatically switch to air recirculation mode.
The performance, air quality and control precision were considerably improved over the preceding model series. The two-zone automatic climate control has separate settings for the left and right, THERMOTRONIC in addition for the rear. However, instead of channelling the air to the rear via an air duct as is customary, it has its own blower in the centre console. This lets rear-seat passengers create their own feel-good climate.
Three different ventilation modes are available to account for the subjective individual comfort of the vehicle occupants:
  • "Medium Air flow" is the standard setting.
  • "Diffuse Air flow" is designed for minimum air flow and not aimed directly at the occupants; the air primarily flows from the defrost vents and footwell vents into the passenger compartment.
  • "Focused Air flow" operates with more air which primarily flows from the nozzles of the ventilation level.
The climate control system works even more efficiently
The climate control system of the new C-Class for the first time uses a new energy-efficient generation of blower motors. They weigh about 35 percent less than conventional blower motors and save a good 30 percent of energy, which in average customer operation translates into about 0.3 g of CO2/km. Its compact size also provides benefits with regards to installation space. Energy-efficient control is also a factor in the efficiency of the air conditioning system.
Control via satellite navigation
The new C-Class is the only vehicle in the segment to offer tunnel detection via satellite navigation. On the basis of map information from the navigation system and the GPS location data, the system detects when the vehicle enters a tunnel. It then automatically closes the air-recirculation flap in order to prevent the outside fume-filled air from entering the vehicle via the air vents. Once the vehicle has left the tunnel, the flap opens and fresh air can once again flow into the interior.
Individual fragrance, ionised air
Another highlight for creating the feel-good atmosphere is the AIR-BALANCE package with active fragrancing, ionisation and even more efficient filtration compared with the standard model. It was adopted from the S-Class in which the AIR-BALANCE package only recently celebrated its world premiere.
The interior fragrances extend the sensuous perception of the Mercedes-Benz interior and help individualise the smell of the interior. Four different fragrances are available: FREESIDE MOOD, NIGHTLIFE MOOD, DOWNTOWN MOOD, SPORTS MOOD. The fragrancing system comprises a glass flask with a dispenser and a fragrance generator in the glove compartment.
The fragrancing changes the interior smell neither permanently, nor are the fragrance molecules deposited on the vehicle's fabric surfaces or on clothing. The impression left by the fragrance is subtle, comes across as unobtrusive and fades away quickly. The vehicle occupants can switch the active fragrancing on and off, and adjust its intensity to their own preferences.
Ionisation is another component of the AIR-BALANCE package, with which the air from the air conditioning is conducted into the interior via the ioniser. The ioniser generates oxygen ions by means of high voltage. The air ionised in this way can eliminate certain viruses, bacteria and spores. At the same time the air can be freshened by an increased concentration of negatively charged oxygen ions. Both help to increase the well-being of passengers.
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