For hybrids and alternative propulsion - KSPG heater/cooler module extends the range of electric vehicles

KSPG AG has developed a heater/cooler module that, by using a heat-pump function, significantly reduces energy consumption when heating or cooling electrically operated vehicles. Current road trials take into account all the heat generated during driving to enable the components to be set to the best-possible operating temperature. As on battery-powered vehicles and hybrids, the mileage range shrinks with the internal combustion (IC) engine shut off and therefore no waste heat is emitted by the engine. On hybrid vehicles a heat-pump function on the air-conditioning system offers clear advantages by enhancing heat management and extending mileage range.

The heater/cooler module is intended as a key component of the air-conditioning system. Existing assemblies such as the drive motor and generator are integrated as heat sources into the vehicle's heat management system. The reproducible measurements obtained from the test series on an electrically powered small-car prototype under defined driving and ambient conditions complement previous test results. Assisting the tests as a recognized and independent party in Germany was TÜV Süd e.V., which also provided a wind tunnel for comparative measurements. The range-extending impact of the heater/cooler module has already been demonstrated in previous tests conducted by Germany's Fraunhofer Gesellschaft on other vehicles at normal temperature as well as test bench measurements on the module itself.

Proof of performance is documented by directly comparing the mileage range of the pre-integration and post-integration vehicles. The necessary measurements were carried out at a variety of ambient temperatures and according to the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC).

When combined with smart controls for the heat management system, the heater/cooler module helps extend the vehicle's mileage range without any compromise in driver or passenger comfort. Until now, the vehicles had used electric heaters, which correspondingly shortened the mileage range and operating cycles.

Plug-and-play advantages

Apart from maximum energy efficiency, the heater/cooler module offers other advantages as well. The compact module is ready-to-operate and can be installed where most convenient in the vehicle. To integrate it with the vehicle's HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning) system, the customer simply connects the four supply lines of the secondary circuit and power supply. Installation times are therefore shorter. With the KSPG plug-and-play heater/cooler module, it is also possible to carry out the necessary leakage tests on the refrigerant lines, add the refrigerant, and start up the system outside of the vehicle.

As the almost completely hermetic refrigerant circuit is designed with a minimum of connecting elements and the compact design reduces the required refrigerant volume, the module also achieves a significant decrease in refrigerant losses and therefore plays a part in curbing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

About KSPG

KSPG AG is the parent company of the Automotive sector of Germany's Rheinmetall Group. Sales in 2014 added up to approximately $2.7 billion (€2.5 billion) of which NAFTA accounted for $380 million (€345 million) (approximately 14 percent). This first-tier auto-component supplier has been operating on the international automotive markets for over a century and employs a worldwide workforce of around 11,000. Its US and Mexican operations have a workforce of over 1,900. Other locations are in Europe, Brazil, Japan, India, and China

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