Visteon Corporation recently launched products featuring different approaches to battery thermal management on a number of new electric and hybrid vehicles. These new architectures include products such as battery contact heat exchangers and battery chillers, which are designed to maintain battery temperatures within tight ranges specified by automakers. This allows for optimal function, extends the life of the battery packs and helps improve fuel economy.
“As vehicle manufacturers continue to pursue electric and hybrid alternatives, Visteon is accelerating this effort by developing products that are forward-thinking, efficient and cost-effective,” said Brigit Anthony, global chief engineer, heat exchangers and engineering services. “With the automotive industry and government considering various regulations and guidelines pertaining to fuel economy and vehicle electrification, we believe it’s important to offer flexible solutions to meet our customers’ needs now and in the future.”
One architecture uses coolant-based contact heat exchangers, while a second employs a refrigerant-based battery cooling and heating approach. In both systems, Visteon’s battery contact heat exchanger is connected with the air conditioning system to reject heat from the battery into the coolant or refrigerant, depending on the vehicle. This helps improve battery performance and prevent premature aging of cells. Visteon engineers and manufactures components for both battery thermal management architectures in Europe.
Visteon’s coolant-based solution employs a battery cooling and heating architecture, in which heat from the lithium-ion batteries is transferred into the coolant system. When the battery needs to be cooled, the air conditioning system is used to decrease the temperature of the coolant. This is made possible by Visteon’s coolant-to-refrigerant battery chiller, which reuses current heat exchanger technology in an innovative and cost-effective design solution. When battery heating is needed, Visteon heaters immersed in the coolant turn on.
In addition to these battery thermal management technologies, Visteon’s climate product portfolio features other prominent “green” technologies. These include electric compressors that are in production with two different auto manufacturers, a heat pump system, and a “leak free” metal seal fitting.