Integrated Cooling System for Underfloor High Voltage Devices in PHEV
Compared to conventional hybrid electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid vehicles have a larger-capacity battery and an onboard charger. These devices are mounted in functionally optimal locations, so it is a challenge to provide a thermal management system that achieves a good balance between high cooling performance and low cost. The battery should be operated at required temperature to secure safety and durability at high temperatures, and to mitigate the decrease in output power and capacity. However, setting separate cooling systems suited for each device leads to both an increased cost and weight. Therefore, an integrated water cooling system was devised for the battery, charger, and DC-DC converter, and the cooling performance was verified through simulations and tests. A valve installed before the battery in the cooling circuit allows it to be bypassed when coolant temperature rises due the charger or low-speed engine operation, helping to preserve battery life.