Visteon Corporation has developed a heat pump system that effectively utilizes ambient air and ancillary heat to improve cabin conditioning for hybrid and electric vehicles. By drawing less power from the lithium-ion battery, vehicles equipped with the heat pump system can operate longer on a single charge.
Combustion engines create waste heat that be used to warm the vehicle cabin. Since hybrid and electric vehicles generate considerably less heat, the climate system must produce heat for the cabin, a process that drains power from the battery.
Visteon’s heat pump system uses an electric compressor to both cool the cabin of an EV/HEV vehicle when running the refrigerant cycle in one direction and heat the cabin when running the refrigerant cycle in the reverse direction. Compared to electric heating, Visteon’s heat pump system uses less energy resulting in a longer drive range on a single battery charge.
This heat pump system consumes about 50% less power and can extend the number of miles driven on a battery charge by 30%. This electric vehicle data compares Visteon’s heat pump system to an electric heater during a New York City drive cycle at -10 °C.