Why Do Electric Cars Have a Heat Pump?

Power systems in electric vehicles not only generate lots of heat but also use up a lot of energy for cooling purposes. However, instead of wasting the heat (as was done before), engineers are now focusing on capturing and using the heat to help power their vehicles. Click here for more information.

In an electric vehicle (EV), reversible heat pumps can both cool the battery and warm it. When cooling it with electricity, the pump transfers the excess heat from batteries into the cabin heating system.

Likewise, if an EV is charging during cold weather, the onboard heat exchanger can transfer the excess heat from the cabin heater back to the battery pack. In addition to these two applications, heat pumps are useful to either heat or cool the cabin or engine compartment.

Although electric vehicles do not necessarily have a heat pump, this equipment is becoming widespread in these cars because it brings many advantages.

One of these advantages is that EVs with heat pumps have better resale value. So you can be confident when you tell the car dealership “value my car”.

Internal consumption vehicles have two separate devices to generate cold and heat.

On an electric car, we still have an air conditioning circuit but no longer any heat engine to heat the water. Therefore, there are two options left: electrical resistors or heat pumps.

It is necessary to find solutions to avoid having too much heat during summer. If you look at the thermal inertia of the battery, it should be cooled by the ambient temperature. But unfortunately, the battery’s internal resistance requires additional cooling. Here is where the heat pump comes in handy.

A heat pump does not require high electricity costs and has several advantages in terms of maintenance and performance:

  • It allows recovering energy from waste heat (the hot exhaust gas) to produce useful cold or warm water.
  • In addition, heat pumps allow you to regulate the temperature indoors by changing the compressor speed according to the outside temperatures. This feature is known as thermostatic control.

The first generations of Tesla had energy-intensive electric resistances, then the manufacturer replaced them with a heat pump. However, the first heat pumps on Model 3 and Y have problems with the pressure switch that sometimes causes the system to shut down.

So, after reading this, you might want to sell your car in UAE and get an upgraded EV.

Why Use a Heat Pump?

Heat pumps heat and cool. When there’s no engine, there is no “belt-driven” compressor. An electric heater can provide heat, but not cooling, besides is not as efficient as a heat pump which can manage the battery temperature as well.

First of all, we need a device that can replace the heat induced by the heat engines of conventional cars. And if we want to avoid the Joule effect resistance, there are only a few solutions left except the heat pump.

A heat pump reduces the energy consumption of heating by 3 to 4 times compared to conventional resistances, and even more by using the heat from the battery instead of the ambient air to heat the fluid at the radiator frontal level.

That is rather welcome on an electric car that saves energy to provide a dignified minimum autonomy. It is an advantage in cold countries where the energy consumption of the resistors can become huge.

The other advantage is merging the air conditioning circuit and the heat pump because the air conditioner is a heat pump!

Finally, the complex thermal management of a conventional car makes the heat pump a perfect choice. Using it in EVs regulates the temperature of the battery, the electric motor, and the passenger compartment. So we can heat some things and cool others, nothing better than a device that generates cold on one side and hot on the other.

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