Booyco Engineering has successfully completed its contract to engineer and manufacture both the air conditioners and heaters for the 50 locomotives produced for Transnet Freight Rail by Transnet Rail Engineering (TRE) and US-based Electro-Motive Diesel (EMD).

Pieter de Koning, managing director at Booyco Engineering, says that although the company views each new project as a challenge, due to the varied nature of clients and the diversity of applications, this particular contract was a welcome challenge. “It is fun to test new waters but it is also good to do work within your comfort zone, and because we have an established installed base of air conditioning systems on various types of locomotives, we were the right choice for this project.”

“In this particular instance, several components of the standard air conditioning system were further ruggedised to ensure reliable operation in the given application,” de Koning says.

Prior to the production units being manufactured, a prototype unit was built and tested in Booyco Engineering’s in-house climate chamber to verify the unit capacity. Following this, the unit was further tested at Gerotek for vibration and shock. Data from the climate control tests verified the design and engineering specifications, and the unit was installed on a locomotive for in-field validation. This was completed in May 2009.

The 4kW 74V DC cab heater is located on the foot wall of the driver desk and will provide heated air to the driver and co-driver. It is a fully self-contained unit with integrated safety features.

The air conditioner is a split system with the evaporator, a 24V DC input, located in the driver cab and the condenser mounted on the locomotive carriage side. The air cooled condenser unit assembly has a 200V @120Hz motor, supplied by EMD, which is directly coupled to the compressor, condenser coils and a 74V DC condenser fan. The air conditioner has a 6.5kW capacity and is designed to operate within 45° ambient temperature conditions.

Booyco Engineering has a reputation for being able to provide custom-designed climate control systems solutions within customer parameters, as well as offer the flexibility to adapt systems to specific application requirements. “Managing customer expectations and finding appropriate solutions has always been Booyco’s strength in this highly competitive market,” de Koning concludes.