Heat Pump for BEVs: Architectures and Performance Analysis 2020-37-0030
Electric vehicles have never been more popular, yet fears around being left stranded by an exhausted battery remain a key reason why some car buyers resist making a purchase. Bigger batteries are not always the solution because of the direct link with higher costs and high impact on weight. A re-engineering of the most energy-consuming auxiliaries is mandatory and the thermal management function is on top of the redesign request list. Heat pump solutions are considered one of the best options to save energy and reduce the impact on vehicle range of heating and cooling functions, but the automotive application requires a careful definition of the system features to avoid unjustified increase of complexity as well as an unneeded system oversizing. The paper aims to give an overview on heat pump design best practices through a virtual performance comparison of different lay-out configurations, which have been selected starting from a benchmark analysis crossed with a detailed vehicle segment-oriented functions selection. Control strategies role, costs, and target requirements have been used as drivers for a proper solution design as well as major constraints for the final solution selection, which cannot be considered as a unique winner.