Vehicle heating as a component for thermal management

November 13, 2019 //By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Vehicle heating as a component for thermal management
Up to now, comfort has been the main focus for engine-independent heating systems. The trend towards electric mobility calls for new approaches. Innovative heating concepts are gaining in importance in order to counteract the challenge of the decreasing range of electric and hybrid vehicles at cold temperatures.

Drivers of vehicles with electric drives are faced with the challenge of an inadequate electric range for the planned journey at cooler outside temperatures. With increasing cold, the traction battery loses its efficiency. In addition, the driver wants a comfortably warm vehicle interior when the outside temperature is cold. This also costs energy. In winter, for example, the range can be reduced by an average of 25 percent compared to the summer months. At very low outside temperatures, around minus 20 degrees Celsius, the range can even be reduced by up to 50 percent. Engine-independent vehicle heaters from the Esslingen-based thermal management expert Eberspaecher GmbH represent a solution to these challenges and are increasingly developing from a purely comfort-oriented feature into a necessary component of vehicle thermal management.

Eberspächer Catem’s high-voltage electric heater is designed for hybrid and electric vehicles. Developed especially for heating the vehicle interior of hybrid and electric vehicles and for battery conditioning, this solution convinces through intrinsically safe heating with PTC technology: an inherent self-regulating effect excludes overheating, since the PTC elements only heat up to a certain predefined temperature and the product then automatically reduces the power consumption.

In hybrid vehicles, the combustion engine often only starts up in winter to allow the vehicle heater to operate with its waste heat. This costs fuel, as the vehicle engine has a low degree of heat generation efficiency. The fuel-powered Hydronic S3 InCat heater prevents the vehicle engine from starting and provides pleasant heat with significantly lower fuel consumption, regardless of the engine. The catalytic converter, which is fully integrated into the water heater, reduces almost all CO and HC emissions, thus enabling low-emission heating. In addition, the heater heats the battery, quickly restoring its performance.

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