Mahle Single Unit EV Heat Exchanger Claims 20% Boost

Automotive supplier Mahle claims its all-in-one EV battery temperature controller can extend a BEV’s range by up to 20%

It claims its integrated thermal system (ITS) heat pump could significantly reduce battery power consumption, is easy to control and can be adapted to future vehicle architectures. Unlike some current battery temperature management systems, the ITS does not use direct resistive heating by electric heaters to heat cabin and traction battery in cold conditions which can cut in half the potential range of a fully charged EV. In summer, too, the range is shortened by the energy drain required to cool both the battery pack and the interior of the vehicle.

Mahle’s system operates in a single unit like a refrigerator heat exchanger with a semi-hermetic refrigerant circuit, comprising a chiller, a coolant-cooled condenser, a thermal expansion valve and an electric drive compressor. However, instead of exchanging heat with air, the refrigerant exchanges heat with the coolant, generating hot and cold coolant flows. It uses R1234yf as a refrigerant and the conventional vehicle coolant as the medium for heat transport between the cooling circuit and the various heat sources and sinks in the vehicle.

The manufacturer claims field tests with a compact electric car showed a cruising range of 62 miles was boosted to 72 miles with the system fitted. Laurent Art, director advanced engineering thermal management at Mahle, said: “With the ITS from Mahle, we can improve cruising range by between 7% and 20%, depending on the design, which drastically reduces the loss of cruising range in wintertime in particular.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_


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