Design and Testing of a Thermal Storage System for Electric Vehicle Cabin Heating
Without the waste heat available from the engine of a conventional automobile, electric vehicles (EVs) must provide heat to the cabin for climate control using energy stored in the vehicle. In current EV designs, this energy is typically provided by the traction battery. In very cold climatic conditions, the power required to heat the EV cabin can be of a similar magnitude to that required for propulsion of the vehicle. As a result, the driving range of an EV can be reduced very significantly during winter months, which limits consumer acceptance of EVs and results in increased battery costs to achieve a minimum range while ensuring comfort to the EV driver. To minimize the range penalty associated with EV cabin heating, a novel climate control system that includes thermal energy storage has been designed for use in EVs and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs). The system uses the stored latent heat of an advanced phase change material (PCM) to provide cabin heating.