Thermal Investigation of a Battery Electric Vehicle
with a coupled Matlab® FloMASTER™ Simulation

BATTERY electric vehicles, or BEVs, not only allow for emission free traveling but are also capable of offsetting CO2 emissions in the environment. Whilst the most environmentally conscientious driver is happy to do his duty to protect and preserve the climate, this cannot come at the detriment of speed, endurance and comfort. This article explores the influence of battery temperature and air-conditioning (passenger comfort) on the battery and the range for the vehicle. Several key factors are considered as boundary conditions. A FloMASTER model was set up and linked with Matlab/Simulink to simulate the vehicle, including a complex battery thermal model.

By design, battery electric vehicles are more energy efficient than combustion driven vehicles resulting in much less waste heat to warm the passenger cabin. Therefore, the cabin has to be heated with energy delivered from another source or from the battery. However when the energy is taken from the battery, the effective range of the vehicle is drastically reduced. Hence, thermal management as well as energy management are very important. Energy management of a battery electric vehicle was the primary focus of a joint research project between the Center for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research in Baden-Württemberg (ZSW BW) and the Institute of Internal Combustion Engines and Automotive Engineering at the University of Stuttgart (IVK). In order to determine the effects of different operating strategies and cabin comfort on the driving range of a BEV a simulation model was created. The work of ZSW BW focused on modeling the battery, with IVK modeling the thermal and energy management systems.

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