Integration and Validation of a Thermal Energy Storage System for Electric Vehicle Cabin Heating 2017-01-0183
It is widely recognized in the automotive industry that, in very cold climatic conditions, the driving range of an Electric Vehicle (EV) can be reduced by 50% or more. In an effort to minimize the EV range penalty, a novel thermal energy storage system has been designed to provide cabin heating in EVs and Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) by using an advanced phase change material (PCM). This system is known as the Electrical PCM-based Thermal Heating System (ePATHS) [1, 2]. When the EV is connected to the electric grid to charge its traction battery, the ePATHS system is also “charged” with thermal energy. The stored heat is subsequently deployed for cabin comfort heating during driving, for example during commuting to and from work.
The ePATHS system, especially the PCM heat exchanger component, has gone through substantial redesign in order to meet functionality and commercialization requirements. The final system development for EV implementation has occurred on a mid-range EV and has been evaluated for its capability to extend the driving range. Both simulated driving in a climatic tunnel and actual road testing have been carried out. The ePATHS has demonstrated its 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.