Heating concept for electric vehicles uses printed conductors

January 28, 2019 //By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Heating concept for electric vehicles uses printed conductors
In a consortium project, three unusual partners jointly developed a new heating concept for electric vehicles: An automotive OEM (BMW), a company with expertise in adhesive applications (Lohmann GmbH) and a banknote manufacturer (Papierfabrik Louisenthal GmbH). The result is a printed heating element that can be bonded to surfaces.

After considering various alternatives, the decision was made to install a heating foil as close to the surface as possible in order to achieve the most energy-efficient result possible. It can also be produced cost-effectively in a roll-to-roll process and is therefore scalable to mass production.

For the development of the prototype, the BMW Group provided the original components of the glove compartment of the BMW 7 Series in which the heating elements were installed. Louisenthal had newly developed a flexible and transparent PET film in which a fine-meshed metallic net is embedded. The use as heating foil was tested for the first time in this project. Lohmann implemented the bonding of the layers as well as the electrical contacting of the film: Conductive adhesive solutions ensure that the contact is thin enough not to be visible on the component surface. The information service provider Knowledge Exchange AG (KEX) methodically accompanied the development of the prototype and provided access to the research network at the RWTH Aachen Campus.

The prototype was presented at the final meeting of the project: With the help of a thermal imaging camera, temperature and homogeneity of the thermal radiation were detected. The heating system can realize surface temperatures of more than 60°C. The functional prototype was developed within three months.


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