Inverter-Integrated Electric Compressors for Hybrid Vehicles 2006-01-0166
Inverter type electric compressors capable of providing cooling capability during engine stop and that do not cause fuel efficiency drop during air conditioning system use are recently being used in hybrid vehicles that have been drawing attention for their low fuel consumption and low emissions. Conventionally, the electric compressor inverter, like other high-voltage devices, was located in a cooling unit known as a power control unit (PCU) box because it requires cooling. However, inverter installation in the PCU box is subject to rigid installation constraints, and there is increasing need to integrate it with the electric compressors. In the present development, we adopted inverter-integrated construction in which the inverter is cooled using suction refrigerant etc., so as to make the electric compressor compact. This enables electric compressor installation in almost the same space as the belt-driven compressors intended for gasoline-engine vehicles, significantly improving electric compressor installability in current vehicles.