Experimental and theoretical investigation of a novel thermal storage system for electric vehicle climate conditioning
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A prototype thermal storage system, using phase change materials, was developed for a novel electric vehicle climate conditioning application. The proposed system consists of a heat transfer fluid circulating between either an on-board hot or cold thermal storage unit, which we refer to as thermal battery, and a liquid-air heat exchanger that provides heat exchange with the incoming air to the vehicle cabin. The research presented herein focuses primarily on the development of the on-board system and hot battery. While the air conditioning system was developed strictly for laboratory use, it was designed to meet application realistic performance metrics, e.g., a heat dissipation rate of 2 kW. The prototype was tested with three phase change materials: paraffin wax, xylitol, and erythritol. Furthermore, a full system thermodynamic model was developed to predict thermal performance that features semi-analytic solution to the coupled forced convection and phase change conduction heat transfer. Modeling results are compared against a numerical benchmark as well as our own experimental data.