With more vehicles adopting fuel-saving engine start-stop routines and with the number of hybrid and electric vehicles on the rise, automotive A/C (air conditioning) systems are facing a challenge to maintain passenger comfort during the time when the compressor is inactive due to engine shut down. Using PCM (Phase Change Material) in the evaporator enables it to store cold when the compressor is active and release it to the cooling air stream when the compressor is not running. A unique feature of Delphi's design is that a refrigerant thermosiphon mechanism inside the evaporator drives the energy transport between the PCM and air stream.
Delphi's PCM evaporator extends comfort for short duration idle stops, reduces emissions, and increases fuel economy and electric drive range. In this paper, the design aspects of a thermosiphon based PCM cold storage evaporator are described and the performance and operation of the PCM evaporator in a MAC (Mobile Air Conditioning) system discussed.