Johnson Controls has developed a new climate control solution for seats. After offering a wide range of active ventilation systems for the upper segment, as well as passive climate systems, the company says it has now extended its portfolio to include a prototype for active seat ventilation in the medium vehicle segment.

This patent pending technology could be available as early as model year 2007.

Ideal climate conditions in the vehicle interior do more than improve comfort. They also reduce the stress of driving, therefore increasing driver alertness and contributing to road safety, Johnson Controls says.

Both the vehicle’s air-conditioning system and the climate-controlled seats which were previously exclusive to the upper vehicle segment offer these benefits. Johnson Controls wants to close the gap by introducing actively ventilated seats for vehicles in the medium segments.

The basic system, which is equipped with only one fan, offers climate control performance comparable to the best systems already available on the market, the company says. Despite its simplicity, this new solution is also claimed to be quieter and more economical than previous ventilation systems.

A fan is built into the central lateral section of the backrest to achieve these results. This positioning is right in the catchment zone for the central outlet jets of the air-conditioning system. Air channels integrated into the seatbacks and the seat cushion transmit the cool air along predetermined routes into the interior of the seat.

A fleece with predefined perforations covers these channels and controls the distribution of air. Additional wide-meshed spacers on the fleece ensure horizontal air distribution before the cool air passes through the perforated leather.

The seat ventilation system has a modular structure that enables it to be fitted with additional fans to suit automakers’ needs. The seat surface and the backrest can be ventilated separately with air flows of different strengths, while temperatures can also be pre-set.