LaClair, T., Gao, Z., Abdelaziz, O., Wang, M. et al., "Thermal Storage System for Electric Vehicle Cabin Heating - Component and System Analysis," SAE Technical Paper 2016-01-0244, 2016, doi:10.4271/2016-01-0244.
Cabin heating of current electric vehicle (EV) designs is typically provided using electrical energy from the traction battery, since waste heat is not available from an engine as in the case of a conventional automobile. In very cold climatic conditions, the power required for space heating of an EV can be of a similar magnitude to that required for propulsion of the vehicle. As a result, its driving range can be reduced very significantly during the winter season, which limits consumer acceptance of EVs and results in increased battery costs to achieve a minimum range while ensuring comfort to the EV driver. To minimize the range penalty associated with EV cabin heating, a novel climate control system that includes thermal energy storage from an advanced phase change material (PCM) has been designed for use in EVs and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs). The present paper focuses on the modeling and analysis of this electrical PCM-Assisted Thermal Heating System (ePATHS) and is a companion to the paper “Design and Testing of a Thermal Storage System for Electric Vehicle Cabin Heating.” A detailed heat transfer model was developed to simulate the PCM heat exchanger that is at the heart of the ePATHS and was subsequently used to analyze and optimize its design. The results from this analysis were integrated into a MATLAB Simulink system model to simulate the fluid flow, pressure drop and heat transfer in all components of the ePATHS. The system model was then used to predict the performance of the climate control system in the vehicle and to evaluate control strategies needed to achieve the desired temperature control in the cabin. The analysis performed to design the ePATHS is described in detail and the system’s predicted performance in a vehicle HVAC system is presented.