Thermal Management for Electric Vehicles

Coordinator Stefan Schaut, M.Sc.
Partner Daimler AG





Thermal management defines the actuation of all components which are used for heating or cooling of the passenger compartment and the powertrain. Due to the high demand of energy required for the heating and cooling system, the range of electric vehicles is reduced significantly. Therefore, it is necessary to develop efficient operating strategies for the thermal management in electrical vehicles. Besides the efficiency, the temperature constraints of the single components and the comfort for the passengers must be satisfied, too.

One component for the design of new thermal management strategies is the development of efficient simulation models. Therefore, the relevant physical effects are described mathematically. The challenges are the high number of interacting components and inputs as well as the complexity of the single subsystems. Due to the nonlinear fluid properties and spatially distributed effects, for example, nonlinear partial differential equations are used in the model. These equations are solved using analytical approaches or efficient numerical methods.

Another component concerns the identification of the system parameters and the analysis of the dynamical behavior. Additionally, the dynamical behavior is further abstracted to obtain models which can be used for numerical optimization. The optimal predictive operating strategy is computed based on an optimal control problem and validated using the simulation model. The aim is to derive parametrizable strategies for the thermal management, which are suitable for a flexible usage in electric vehicles.