Integration and Validation of Thermal Energy Storage System for Electric Vehicle Cabin Heating

Paper #:
  • 2017-01-0183

Published:
  • 2017-03-28
Abstract:
Without the waste heat available from the engine of a conventional automobile, electric vehicles (EVs) must provide heat to the cabin for climate control using energy stored in the vehicle. In current EV designs, this energy is typically provided by electrical energy from the traction battery. In very cold climatic conditions, the driving range of an EV can be reduced by 50% or more. To minimize this EV range penalty, a novel thermal energy storage system has been designed to provide cabin heat in EVs and Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) using the stored latent heat from an advanced phase change material (PCM). This system is known as the Electrical PCM-based Thermal Heating System (ePATHS). When the EV is connected to the electric grid to charge its traction battery, the ePATHS system is also “charged” by melting the PCM. The stored thermal energy is subsequently deployed for cabin heating during driving. To minimize thermal losses during periods of extended parking, e.g., during work hours, the PCM is encased in a high performance thermal insulation system. The ePATHS system has been integrated into a mid-range EV and evaluated for its capability to extend the driving range. Both simulated driving in a climatic tunnel and actual road testing have been carried out. It has demonstrated the ability to supply the entire cabin heating needs for a round trip commute totaling 46 minutes, including 8 hours of parking, at an ambient temperature of -10 °C. This paper presents the data on the range reduction caused by cabin heating using a PTC (Positive Temperature Coefficient) high voltage heater and the range recovery achieved by the ePATHS thermal storage system. Additionally, the ePATHS system control strategy is discussed.
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