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Technical Paper

Total Thermal Management of Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs)

2018-05-30
2018-37-0026
The key hurdles to achieving wide consumer acceptance of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) are weather-dependent drive range, higher cost, and limited battery life. These translate into a strong need to reduce a significant energy drain and resulting drive range loss due to auxiliary electrical loads the predominant of which is the cabin thermal management load. Studies have shown that thermal sub-system loads can reduce the drive range by as much as 45% under ambient temperatures below −10 °C. Often, cabin heating relies purely on positive temperature coefficient (PTC) resistive heating, contributing to a significant range loss. Reducing this range loss may improve consumer acceptance of BEVs. The authors present a unified thermal management system (UTEMPRA) that satisfies diverse thermal and design needs of the auxiliary loads in BEVs.
Technical Paper

Development of 80- and 100- Mile Work Day Cycles Representative of Commercial Pickup and Delivery Operation

2018-04-03
2018-01-1192
When developing and designing new technology for integrated vehicle systems deployment, standard cycles have long existed for chassis dynamometer testing and tuning of the powertrain. However, to this day with recent developments and advancements in plug-in hybrid and battery electric vehicle technology, no true “work day” cycles exist with which to tune and measure energy storage control and thermal management systems. To address these issues and in support of development of a range-extended pickup and delivery Class 6 commercial vehicle, researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in collaboration with Cummins analyzed 78,000 days of operational data captured from more than 260 vehicles operating across the United States to characterize the typical daily performance requirements associated with Class 6 commercial pickup and delivery operation.
Technical Paper

Modeling Control Strategies and Range Impacts for Electric Vehicle Integrated Thermal Management Systems with MATLAB/Simulink

2017-03-28
2017-01-0191
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s (NREL’s) CoolSim MATLAB/Simulink modeling framework was used to explore control strategies for an electric vehicle combined loop system. Three system variants of increased complexity and efficiency were explored: a glycol-based positive temperature coefficient heater (PTC), PTC with power electronics and electric motor (PEEM) waste heat recovery, and PTC with PEEM waste heat recovery plus heat pump versions. Additionally, the benefit of electric motor preheating was considered. A two-level control strategy was developed where the mode selection and component control were treated separately. Only the parameters typically available by vehicle sensors were used to control the system. The control approach included a mode selection algorithm and controllers for the compressor speed, cabin blower flow rate, coolant flow rate, and the front-end heat exchanger coolant bypass rate.
Technical Paper

MATLAB/Simulink Framework for Modeling Complex Coolant Flow Configurations of Advanced Automotive Thermal Management Systems

2016-04-05
2016-01-0230
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s (NREL’s) CoolSim MATLAB/Simulink modeling framework was expanded by including a newly developed coolant loop solution method aimed at reducing the simulation effort for complex thermal management systems. The new approach does not require the user to identify specific coolant loops and their flow. The user only needs to connect the fluid network elements in a manner consistent with the desired schematic. Using the new solution method, a model of NREL's advanced combined coolant loop system for electric vehicles was created that reflected the test system architecture. This system was built using components provided by MAHLE Inc. and included both air conditioning and heat pump modes. Validation with test bench data and verification with the previous solution method were performed for 10 operating points spanning a range of ambient temperatures between -2°C and 43°C.
Journal Article

Long-Haul Truck Sleeper Heating Load Reduction Package for Rest Period Idling

2016-04-05
2016-01-0258
Annual fuel use for sleeper cab truck rest period idling is estimated at 667 million gallons in the United States, or 6.8% of long-haul truck fuel use. Truck idling during a rest period represents zero freight efficiency and is largely done to supply accessory power for climate conditioning of the cab. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s CoolCab project aims to reduce heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) loads and resulting fuel use from rest period idling by working closely with industry to design efficient long-haul truck thermal management systems while maintaining occupant comfort. Enhancing the thermal performance of cab/sleepers will enable smaller, lighter, and more cost-effective idle reduction solutions. In addition, if the fuel savings provide a one- to three-year payback period, fleet owners will be economically motivated to incorporate them.
Journal Article

Climate Control Load Reduction Strategies for Electric Drive Vehicles in Cold Weather

2016-04-05
2016-01-0262
When operated, the cabin climate control system is the largest auxiliary load on a vehicle. This load has significant impact on fuel economy for conventional and hybrid vehicles, and it drastically reduces the driving range of all-electric vehicles (EVs). Heating is even more detrimental to EV range than cooling because no engine waste heat is available. Reducing the thermal loads on the vehicle climate control system will extend driving range and increase the market penetration of EVs. Researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory have evaluated strategies for vehicle climate control load reduction with special attention toward grid-connected electric vehicles. Outdoor vehicle thermal testing and computational modeling were used to assess potential strategies for improved thermal management and to evaluate the effectiveness of thermal load reduction technologies. A human physiology model was also used to evaluate the impact on occupant thermal comfort.
Technical Paper

Modeling of an Electric Vehicle Thermal Management System in MATLAB/Simulink

2015-04-14
2015-01-1708
Electric vehicles (EVs) need highly optimized thermal management systems to improve range. Climate control can reduce vehicle efficiency and range by more than 50%. Due to the relative shortage of waste heat, heating the passenger cabin in EVs is difficult. Cabin cooling can take a high portion of the energy available in the battery. Compared to internal combustion engine-driven vehicles, different heating methods and more efficient cooling methods are needed, which can make EV thermal management systems more complex. More complex systems typically allow various alternative modes of operation that can be selected based on driving and ambient conditions. A good system simulation tool can greatly reduce the time and expense for developing these complex systems. A simulation model should also be able to efficiently co-simulate with vehicle simulation programs, and should be applicable for evaluating various control algorithms.
Technical Paper

Climate Control Load Reduction Strategies for Electric Drive Vehicles in Warm Weather

2015-04-14
2015-01-0355
Passenger compartment climate control is one of the largest auxiliary loads on a vehicle. Like conventional vehicles, electric vehicles (EVs) require climate control to maintain occupant comfort and safety, but cabin heating and air conditioning have a negative impact on driving range for all-electric vehicles. Range reduction caused by climate control and other factors is a barrier to widespread adoption of EVs. Reducing the thermal loads on the climate control system will extend driving range, thereby reducing consumer range anxiety and increasing the market penetration of EVs. Researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory have investigated strategies for vehicle climate control load reduction, with special attention toward EVs. Outdoor vehicle thermal testing was conducted on two 2012 Ford Focus Electric vehicles to evaluate thermal management strategies for warm weather, including solar load reduction and cabin pre-ventilation.
Technical Paper

Will Your Battery Survive a World With Fast Chargers?

2015-04-14
2015-01-1196
Fast charging is attractive to battery electric vehicle (BEV) drivers for its ability to enable long-distance travel and to quickly recharge depleted batteries on short notice. However, such aggressive charging and the sustained vehicle operation that results could lead to excessive battery temperatures and degradation. Properly assessing the consequences of fast charging requires accounting for disparate cycling, heating, and aging of individual cells in large BEV packs when subjected to realistic travel patterns, usage of fast chargers, and climates over long durations (i.e., years). The U.S. Department of Energy's Vehicle Technologies Office has supported the National Renewable Energy Laboratory's development of BLAST-V-the Battery Lifetime Analysis and Simulation Tool for Vehicles-to create a tool capable of accounting for all of these factors. We present on the findings of applying this tool to realistic fast charge scenarios.
Journal Article

Simulated Real-World Energy Impacts of a Thermally Sensitive Powertrain Considering Viscous Losses and Enrichment

2015-04-14
2015-01-0342
It is widely understood that cold ambient temperatures increase vehicle fuel consumption due to heat transfer losses, increased friction (increased viscosity lubricants), and enrichment strategies (accelerated catalyst heating). However, relatively little effort has been dedicated to thoroughly quantifying these impacts across a large set of real world drive cycle data and ambient conditions. This work leverages experimental dynamometer vehicle data collected under various drive cycles and ambient conditions to develop a simplified modeling framework for quantifying thermal effects on vehicle energy consumption. These models are applied over a wide array of real-world usage profiles and typical meteorological data to develop estimates of in-use fuel economy. The paper concludes with a discussion of how this integrated testing/modeling approach may be applied to quantify real-world, off-cycle fuel economy benefits of various technologies.
Journal Article

Combined Fluid Loop Thermal Management for Electric Drive Vehicle Range Improvement

2015-04-14
2015-01-1709
Electric drive vehicles (EDVs) have complex thermal management requirements not present in conventional vehicles. In addition to cabin conditioning, the energy storage system (ESS) and power electronics and electric motor (PEEM) subsystems also require thermal management. Many current-generation EDVs utilize separate cooling systems, adding both weight and volume, and lack abundant waste heat from an engine for cabin heating. Some use battery energy to heat the cabin via electrical resistance heating, which can result in vehicle range reductions of 50% under cold ambient conditions. These thermal challenges present an opportunity for integrated vehicle thermal management technologies that reduce weight and volume and increase cabin heating efficiency. Bench testing was conducted to evaluate a combined fluid loop technology that unifies the cabin air-conditioning and heating, ESS thermal management, and PEEM cooling into a single liquid coolant-based system.
Technical Paper

Impact of Paint Color on Rest Period Climate Control Loads in Long-Haul Trucks

2014-04-01
2014-01-0680
Cab climate conditioning is one of the primary reasons for operating the main engine in a long-haul truck during driver rest periods. In the United States, sleeper cab trucks use approximately 667 million gallons of fuel annually for rest period idling. The U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory's (NREL) CoolCab Project works closely with industry to design efficient thermal management systems for long-haul trucks that minimize engine idling and fuel use while maintaining occupant comfort. Heat transfer to the vehicle interior from opaque exterior surfaces is one of the major heat pathways that contribute to air conditioning loads during long-haul truck daytime rest period idling. To quantify the impact of paint color and the opportunity for advanced paints, NREL collaborated with Volvo Group North America, PPG Industries, and Dometic Environmental Corporation.
Journal Article

Comparison of the Accuracy and Speed of Transient Mobile A/C System Simulation Models

2014-04-01
2014-01-0669
The operation of air conditioning (A/C) systems is a significant contributor to the total amount of fuel used by light-and heavy-duty vehicles. Therefore, continued improvement of the efficiency of these mobile A/C systems is important. Numerical simulation has been used to reduce the system development time and to improve the electronic controls, but numerical models that include highly detailed physics run slower than desired for carrying out vehicle-focused drive cycle-based system optimization. Therefore, faster models are needed even if some accuracy is sacrificed. In this study, a validated model with highly detailed physics, the “Fully-Detailed” model, and two models with different levels of simplification, the “Quasi-Transient” and the “Mapped-Component” models, are compared. The Quasi-Transient model applies some simplifications compared to the Fully-Detailed model to allow faster model execution speeds.
Technical Paper

CoolCalc: A Long-Haul Truck Thermal Load Estimation Tool

2011-04-12
2011-01-0656
In the United States, intercity long-haul trucks idle approximately 1,800 hrs per year primarily for sleeper cab hotel loads, consuming 838 million gallons of diesel fuel [1]. The U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is working on solutions to this challenge through the CoolCab project. The objective of the CoolCab project is to work closely with industry to design efficient thermal management systems for long-haul trucks that keep the cab comfortable with minimized engine idling. Truck engine idling is primarily done to heat or cool the cab/sleeper, keep the fuel warm in cold weather, and keep the engine warm for cold temperature startup. Reducing the thermal load on the cab/sleeper will decrease air conditioning system requirements, improve efficiency, and help reduce fuel use. To help assess and improve idle reduction solutions, the CoolCalc software tool was developed.
Technical Paper

Integrated Vehicle Thermal Management for Advanced Vehicle Propulsion Technologies

2010-04-12
2010-01-0836
A critical element to the success of new propulsion technologies that enable reductions in fuel use is the integration of component thermal management technologies within a viable vehicle package. Vehicle operation requires vehicle thermal management systems capable of balancing the needs of multiple vehicle systems that may require heat for operation, require cooling to reject heat, or require operation within specified temperature ranges. As vehicle propulsion transitions away from a single form of vehicle propulsion based solely on conventional internal combustion engines (ICEs) toward a wider array of choices including more electrically dominant systems such as plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), new challenges arise associated with vehicle thermal management. As the number of components that require active thermal management increase, so do the costs in terms of dollars, weight, and size.
Technical Paper

Aspects of Cabin Fluid Dynamics, Heat Transfer, and Thermal Comfort in Vehicle Thermal Management Simulations

2005-05-10
2005-01-2000
Automobile manufacturers and suppliers are under pressure to develop more efficient thermal management systems as fuel consumption and emission regulations become stricter and buyers demand greater comfort and safety. Additionally, engines must be very efficient and windows must deice and defog quickly. These requirements are often in conflict. Moreover, package styling and cost constraints severely limit the design of coolant and air conditioning systems. Simulation-based design and virtual prototyping can ensure greater product performance and quality at reduced development time and cost. The representation of the vehicle thermal management needs a scalable approach with 0-D, 1-D, and 3-D fluid dynamics, multi-body dynamics, 3-D structural analysis, and control unit simulation capabilities. Different combinations and complexities of the simulation tools are required for various phases of the product development process.
Technical Paper

Heat Pipe/Two-Phase Flow Systems For Vehicle Passenger Cabin Cooling

2002-06-03
2002-01-1970
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has initiated projects to investigate the benefits and design challenges of using heat pipe/two-phase flow technologies to provide sub-system cooling and thermal management in future advanced vehicles, hybrid electric vehicles, and heavy-duty vehicles. Projects initially focused on vehicle instrument panel (IP) heat pipe cooling and passenger seat thermal management, but will also investigate engine cooling, electric motor cooling, and battery cooling in the future. Experimental results have demonstrated IP surface temperature reductions of 20°C-30°C during maximum solar intensity environments of 525-800 W/m2 (typical of Golden, CO from January to April) compared to uncooled conditions. The heat pipe cooling effect in the IP also reduced windshield temperatures by 9°C-12°C compared to the non-cooled configuration in April 2001 testing.
Technical Paper

Thermal Evaluation of Toyota Prius Battery Pack

2002-06-03
2002-01-1962
As part of a U.S. Department of Energy supported study, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory has benchmarked a Toyota Prius hybrid electric vehicle from three aspects: system analysis, auxiliary loads, and battery pack thermal performance. This paper focuses on the testing of the battery back out of the vehicle. More recent in-vehicle dynamometer tests have confirmed these out-of-vehicle tests. Our purpose was to understand how the batteries were packaged and performed from a thermal perspective. The Prius NiMH battery pack was tested at various temperatures (0°C, 25°C, and 40°C) and under driving cycles (HWFET, FTP, and US06). The airflow through the pack was also analyzed. Overall, we found that the U.S. Prius battery pack thermal management system incorporates interesting features and performs well under tested conditions.
Technical Paper

A Modular Battery Management System for HEVs

2002-06-03
2002-01-1918
Proper electric and thermal management of an HEV battery pack, consisting of many modules of cells, is imperative. During operation, voltage and temperature differences in the modules/cells can lead to electrical imbalances from module to module and decrease pack performance by as much as 25%. An active battery management system (BMS) is a must to monitor, control, and balance the pack. The University of Toledo, with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy and in collaboration with DaimlerChrysler and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory has developed a modular battery management system for HEVs. This modular unit is a 2nd generation system, as compared to a previous 1st generation centralized system. This 2nd generation prototype can balance a battery pack based on cell-to-cell measurements and active equalization. The system was designed to work with several battery types, including lithium ion, NiMH, or lead acid.
Technical Paper

Optimization of Vehicle Air Conditioning Systems Using Transient Air Conditioning Performance Analysis

2001-05-14
2001-01-1734
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has developed a transient air conditioning (A/C) system model using SINDA/FLUINT analysis software. It captures all the relevant physics of transient A/C system performance, including two-phase flow effects in the evaporator and condenser, system mass effects, air side heat transfer on the condenser/evaporator, vehicle speed effects, temperature-dependent properties, and integration with a simplified cabin thermal model. It has demonstrated robust and powerful system design optimization capabilities. Single-variable and multiple variable design optimizations have been performed and are presented. Various system performance parameters can be optimized, including system COP, cabin cool-down time, and system heat load capacity. This work presents this new transient A/C system analysis and optimization tool and shows some high-level system design conclusions reached to date.
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