German automotive parts manufacturer Mahle has introduced a new condenser for electric vehicles that is claimed to offer significantly improved power density.
As a result, in electric vehicles with active refrigerant-driven chillers for their batteries, the increased cooling capability could permit increased charging speeds and performance – all while reliably protecting the battery against damage.
“Battery cooling is crucial for the performance of electric vehicles,” said Laurent Art, director of advanced engineering thermal management at Mahle. “We’re confident that this condenser will give a further boost to the development of electric vehicles.”
In many electric vehicles, the air-conditioning system plays a key part in the control of the battery pack temperature. As well as providing refrigerant for the cabin evaporator, to maintain the desired climate for occupants, the system’s compressor also circulates the refrigerant through a battery-chilling heat exchanger.
Coolant from the battery pack is pumped through the battery chiller, reducing its temperature before it is fed back to the pack.
Refrigerant from the chiller then flows into the compressor and on to the condenser; fitting a more capable condenser means more heat can be dealt with, so the battery can be charged more intensively without resulting in excessive temperatures.
Mahle also states that the new condenser benefits from an optimised production process that minimises its susceptibility to corrosion while cutting its weight, further increasing its appeal.
It’s additionally reputed to require less refrigerant to deliver the same cooling capacity, potentially reducing the environmental impact of vehicles equipped with it.