50 feet of high pressure hoses is indeed a lot of weight. One option, if you want to keep A/C, and use compressed refrigerant for it, is to ditch all the lines running to the rear, and the stock compressor, and install a compressor for an electric/hybrid car up front that is powered by an internal electric motor. They're still heavy, but some are fairly compact, and the Fiero doesn't need a huge one, given the cabin space is so small.
Likewise, the lines for the heater core, the core itself, and the coolant that fills them, is a fair bit of weight. A ceramic or similar electric unit will save some weight and keep some heat for the cabin.
The site is a bit slow, but it seems they have many 12-24V compressors. It also has pretty bad English, and they're made in China. Not sure what the quality of them is, but they look interesting (some of them are quite small).
They have plenty of US production facilities, having been around for 80 years. They have much better quality assurance than many of the unknown origin Chinese parts too. Even if some of the components or compressors do get made in China, I think it's safe to assume the higher quality standards will stay in place, as they do for brands like AC Delco, Timken, etc…
The Rigid Auto compressors though, I have no idea what level of standards they might adhere to (or claim to adhere to but not actually do so).
we may need to keep looking though, looks like the 12V systems might not have enough ass to do the job...
The last time this came up I looked up Prius A/C compressors. There seem to be two, an electric one and a mechanical one. That may be how it's done. The electric compressor only provides part of the cooling, probably just enough so the engine can shut off part of the time.
V5 compressor is ~same weight vs DA6/HR6 but uses less power overall. V5 doesn't use the clutch to regulate AC pressure. Switching to V5 might be hard to find right pulley and/or bracket(s). I know GM use then on later V6 engines but w/ serpent belt pulleys.
Note that Most ECM/PCM cuts off AC when TB/TBI is at/near WOT.
Originally posted by dobey: I wonder what tons of cooling actually means, in that post.
The goal isn't necessarily about saving weight, but moving to equalize weight distribution. So instead of that 15 lbs being in the rear passenger side, it gets moved to the front center, for example (such as the battery relocation kit). The long A/C lines can also be removed by moving the compressor up front, which simplifies the system, makes repairs in case of leaks easier, and loses a little more weight than just any difference in compressor weight.
A solid state system without any liquid/gas refrigerant would also mean losing a lot more weight, as there would be no compressor, lines, condensor, or accumulator. A solid state system could also replace the heater core at the same time, completely removing the extra weight of those lines and the coolant in them, as well as allowing a simpler HVAC control setup, removing the blend door and associated equipment.