Lumped parameter network simulation of a Loop Heat Pipe for energy management systems in full electric vehicles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Loop heat pipes (LHP) and other two-phase passive thermal devices, such as heat pipe loops (HPL), represent a very attractive solution for the energy management of systems characterized by a distributed presence of heating and cooling zones and by the needs of fast start-up, reliability, low cost and lightness. Even if the usual application for these devices is in the space sector, there could be a potential significant application for the automotive industry, for the development of embedded thermal networks for full electric vehicles (FEV), in order for example to recover the waste heat for cabin heating and cooling or to improve the aerodynamic efficiency. In the present investigation, the possibility to implement a new thermal control for an electric vehicle comprising from heat pumps (HP) and LHP, is here evaluated. In more detail, a 1-D lumped parameter model (LPM) that is able to predict the transient behaviour of a LHP in response of varying boundary and initial conditions, is developed and validated against literature experimental data. A novel methodology for treating numerically the condenser is proposed and validated for three different working fluids. An extensive parametric analysis is also conducted, showing the robustness of the thermal solution for different conditions and proving the possibility of using the proposed numerical code both for feasibility studies and for optimization purposes. A feasibility study utilizing the proposed model is also conducted and the results indicate that an array of LHPs can effectively transport heat from the motor section of the vehicle to the underbody, reducing significantly the aerodynamic losses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)617-629
Number of pages13
JournalApplied Thermal Engineering
Volume141
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jun 2018

Bibliographical note

© 2018. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Keywords

  • Electric vehicle
  • Loop Heat Pipe
  • Lumped parameter
  • Thermal management

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