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Technical Paper

Integration and Validation of a Thermal Energy Storage System for Electric Vehicle Cabin Heating

It is widely recognized in the automotive industry that, in very cold climatic conditions, the driving range of an Electric Vehicle (EV) can be reduced by 50% or more. In an effort to minimize the EV range penalty, a novel thermal energy storage system has been designed to provide cabin heating in EVs and Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) by using an advanced phase change material (PCM). This system is known as the Electrical PCM-based Thermal Heating System (ePATHS) [1, 2]. When the EV is connected to the electric grid to charge its traction battery, the ePATHS system is also “charged” with thermal energy. The stored heat is subsequently deployed for cabin comfort heating during driving, for example during commuting to and from work. The ePATHS system, especially the PCM heat exchanger component, has gone through substantial redesign in order to meet functionality and commercialization requirements.
Technical Paper

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.