1991-02-01

Climate Control for Electric Vehicles 910250

The vast majority of cars and small trucks are sold with factory installed air conditioning (approximately 80% in 1989). For electric vehicles to succeed in the marketplace, air conditioning will need to be offered as optional equipment, along with adequate heating and defrosting systems. While providing the level of cooling performance expected by vehicle operators, it is important that the power consumption of the air conditioning systems used in electric vehicles be minimized, to minimize penalties to vehicle range and performance.
This paper summarizes the design and performance of several air conditioning systems that have been developed for electric vans over the past two years, including systems based largely on standard automobile air conditioning components and more advanced systems using high performance heat transfer components and a variable speed refrigerant compressor. The feasibility of using a heat pump cycle for vehicle heating functions (instead of a fuel fired heater), and the feasibility of applying measures to control vehicle thermal loads is discussed.

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