Delphi’s innovation was a multiport folded tube condenser that used parallel channels for the heat transfer surfaces. It was tricky to execute, but the manufacturing process was straightforward. It folded a single metal strip back onto itself repeatedly. The process cut three manufacturing steps to one, and slashed the time required to make a condenser to one hour from 10. Costs fell as a result.
Consumers benefited from improved performance in multiple ways. The new approach allowed the use of superior materials that reduced hidden defects and corrosion. The resulting condenser was more compact and lighter, improving fuel economy. Compared with rival designs, it reduced refrigerant pressure drop, boasted higher heat transfer capability and trimmed noise and vibration.