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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

2007-04-16
2007-01-1194
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

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

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

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.
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