Automotive Thermal Management

Advances for Energy Efficiency & Passenger Comfort

For vehicles, thermal management developments are a key technique for reducing CO2 emissions and improving passenger comfort. ITB assists in the decision making process by assessing high value advancements for conventional and electrified powertrains.

ITB’s 2015 report on “Changing Paradigms in Automotive Thermal Management” details the synergistic effects of combining thermal management technologies within and across system boundaries. A strong emphasis is placed on evaluating technologies that are in various phases of market introduction, ranging from development through broad scale commercialization. In 2015, the value of 60 discrete technologies were evaluated from an economic standpoint, in terms of vehicle energy consumption savings versus the component or system cost.

ITB’s 2017 report on “Thermal Management Advancements for Electrified Vehicles” examines over 40 technologies and 100 suppliers of thermal management systems and components for electrified vehicles. The ITB Group’s research incorporates feedback from Asian, European and North American OEMs and suppliers. It includes market, technology and value analyses to identify key thermal management trends, strategies and priorities. Thermal technology analyses will cover battery, power electronics, drive motors and their interdependence with other vehicle systems like HVAC and conventional powertrain systems. Key points in the research include:

  • Evaluating and prioritizing technology value in terms of CO2 reduction and all-electric range vs. cost
  • Market trends and projections for electrified vehicle powertrains
  • Volume projections for selected technologies over time, including OEM differences
  • Regulations, incentives and their effects on vehicle technology commercialization
  • Technology trends and strategies for leading OEMs and suppliers
  • Assessment of leading suppliers by volume and technology

During its primary research, ITB speaks with system and component development experts at light vehicle OEMs, tier and material suppliers, as well as regulatory organizations. The spectrum of integrated thermal management techniques encompasses heat recovery, storage, transfer, and controls. Vehicle system applications include powertrain, HVAC, glazing, and insulation. Specific powertrain technologies evaluated include rapid warm-up techniques like heat recovery, thermal storage, smart valves, and pumps. Passenger compartment technologies analyzed included architectural and component changes affecting ventilation and thermal transfer at high and low ambient temperatures.

A major deliverable of ITB’s reports is to understand the strategies and partnerships that specific automotive OEMs and suppliers are pursuing. A variety of OEM-specific thermal management philosophies and architectures are examined. There is a wide range of approaches among the OEMs across the globe. The current technological palette of thermal management suppliers is also examined, as is the growing sophistication in architectures including controls and algorithms.



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