Improving Energy Efficiency of Car Climate Control with SLS

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Vetterli, M.
Schmid, R.
Schmid, M.
Harke, S.
Durand, T.
Wegener, K.

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University of Texas at Austin


In Europe, passenger cars are responsible for 12% of CO2 emissions. The European Commission established new regulations to drastically reduce the emissions from 130g to 95g CO2 per km between 2015 and 2021. While the automobile industry is looking at different ways to meet those criteria, the presented industry-driven project aims at reducing energy consumption by up to 30% of air-conditioning (AC) in passenger cars with the introduction of a novel system. The current systems reduce the fuel economy to up to 20% for gas motors and even more for electric cars. Through Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) design freedom and short production cycles; the design of the AC casing was drastically optimized to increase its contact area with incoming air. To further increase the heat exchange throughout the system, the thermal conductivity of SLS material was improved by incorporation of mineral fillers. The successful implementation of both optimizations led to a CO2 emission reduction of around 50% for the climate control of passenger cars.


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