Combined Fluid Loop Thermal Management for Electric Drive Vehicle Range Improvement
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.