Recuperation heater offloads battery in electric vehicles

July 01, 2014 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
The REOHM BWD330 is a high voltage recuperation heater for electric vehicles. Forming an integral part of the vehicle thermal management system, the D330 reduces energy consumption and offers increased cooling efficiency during emergency braking.

In conventional fuel engines, any waste heat generated is usually reused to heat the cabin. However, until now electric vehicles have had to use electrical energy for heating both the cabin and the batteries during winter. This has the detrimental effect of diminishing battery life, increasing the running cost and detracting from the potential maximum range. The key barrier to the adoption of electric vehicles has been battery life and range.

The BWD330 minimises this dependency on the battery by using the energy generated from the act of braking, which is stored and reused for heating as and when required. Besides improving the energy efficiency, the BWD330 saves space - it occupies 66% less installation space than standard units, claims appliance manufacturer REO UK who developed and produces the recuperation heater. The unit weighs less than 10kg with a rating of 420-450V DC and a maximum braking power rating of 60kW. In the event of drive system failure, the heater unit can discharge the DC link to safely dissipate unwanted power.

News of the D330 comes as recent high profile breakthroughs in the industry pave the way for wider consumer adoption of clean energy vehicles worldwide. The state of California passed a 'charge ahead' bill in February, which seeks to combat the currently high levels of pollution by introducing one million electric vehicles by 2020. Similarly, the Government of Bhutan signed a deal with Nissan recently, to supply the mountainous country with electric vehicles as part of its zero emissions targets.

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