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Technical Paper

Reduction in Vehicle Temperatures and Fuel Use from Cabin Ventilation, Solar-Reflective Paint, and a New Solar-Reflective Glazing

A new type of solar-reflective glass that improves reflection of the near-infrared (NIR) portion of the solar spectrum has been developed. Also developed was a prototype solar-reflective paint that increases the NIR reflection of opaque vehicle surfaces while maintaining desired colors in the visible portion of the spectrum. Both of these technologies, as well as solar-powered parked car ventilation, were tested on a Cadillac STS as part of the Improved Mobile Air Conditioning Cooperative Research Program (I-MAC). Significant reductions in interior and vehicle skin temperatures were measured. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) performed an analysis to determine the impact of reducing the thermal load on the vehicle. A simplified cabin thermal/fluid model was run to predict the potential reduction in A/C system capacity. The potential reduction in fuel use was calculated using a vehicle simulation tool developed by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).
Technical Paper

Total Thermal Management of Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs)

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

Range Extension Opportunities While Heating a Battery Electric Vehicle

The Kia Soul battery electric vehicle (BEV) is available with either a positive temperature coefficient (PTC) heater or an R134a heat pump (HP) with PTC heater combination [1]. The HP uses both ambient air and waste heat from the motor, inverter, and on-board-charger (OBC) for its heat source. Hanon Systems, Hyundai America Technical Center, Inc. (HATCI) and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory jointly, with financial support from the U.S. Department of Energy, developed and proved-out technologies that extend the driving range of a Kia Soul BEV while maintaining thermal comfort in cold climates. Improved system configuration concepts that use thermal storage and waste heat more effectively were developed and evaluated. Range extensions of 5%-22% at ambient temperatures ranging from 5 °C to −18 °C were demonstrated. This paper reviews the three-year effort, including test data of the baseline and modified vehicles, resulting range extension, and recommendations for future actions.
Journal Article

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

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

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

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

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

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.