Task 17, System Optimization and Vehicle Integration, has meetings on thermal management, extends Task deadline

October 18, 2013 11:15 AM
Thermal model of a vehicle passenger compartment.
© Image courtesy of Technical University Munich.


Task 17 (System Optimization and Vehicle Integration) held a workshop on innovative thermal management for hybrid and electric vehicles (HEVs and EVs) on April 25, 2013, at Argonne National Laboratory near Chicago, Illinois, U.S.

Studies of the performance of EVs show that heating and cooling the cabin results in significantly reduced range for driving. In the most critical case, heating the car in winter can lead to losses of up to 50% of the range. This creates the need for intelligent thermal and energy management systems. However, waste heat from the engine alone cannot create a comfortable climate in the cabin for passengers, especially from highly efficient combustion engines or range extenders.

Participants discussed specific thermal management technologies such as heat pumps in combination with intelligent air management, which significantly increases the EV driving range at low temperatures. They explored innovations on components like the electrical compressor and electrical coolant heater. Design and integration aspects were also treated. Phase-change materials (PCMs), which can store and then release large amounts of energy as they undergo phase transitions between liquid and solid states, could provide thermal storage that assists engine performance. For example, the latent heat storage using PCM can provide heating capacity at the start of driving and serve as a buffer while driving. Used as a PCM Evaporator, the technology is used to maintain the passenger cabin temperature for micro hybrids that turn off the engine during a stop. For hybrids, recovering energy offers the ability to keep the engine off for longer periods of time, since the A/C system is not required, which therefore increases fuel economy.

Current Task member representatives that attended came from the Austrian Agency for Alternative Propulsion Systems (A3PS), eNOVA Strategy Board for Electric Mobility (Germany), the United States Department of Energy, and Argonne National Laboratory (ANL, U.S.). Industry representatives from Delphi Thermal Systems and Valeo Thermal Systems and Climate Control also participated and provided an overview in the state of the art as well as perspectives for thermal and climate technology in future cars.

Task 17 workshop convened in October 2013

A follow-on Task 17 workshop focusing on thermal management took place on October 2, 2013, in Vienna to coincide with the 8th annual A3PS Conference “Eco-Mobility 2013." More details to come in a future newsletter. 

Task 17 extended to 2015, with a shift in objectives

At the 38th IA-HEV Executive Committee meeting held in April 2013, Task 17 was proposed to be extended until the end of the current phase of the Implementing Agreement in early 2015. The Task has evolved to focus on the areas of thermal management, lightweighting and electronic/electrical (E/E) architecture, as these are areas that offer the greatest potential for improving upon today’s hybrid and electric vehicle technology.

Contributed by Mr. Mark-Michael Weltzl
Task 17 Operating Agent