As far as Electric Vehicles are concerned: on one hand, end users are demanding longer ranges as well as short and fast charging cycles, whereas manufacturers, on the other hand, need to minimize the impact on battery life through short charge cycles. At the same time, they are looking for ways to make the best possible use of the heat energy generated and to reduce the complexity in the coolant circuit.
Opining on the issues, Björn Twiehaus, Managing Director responsible for HELLA’s global electronics business, said, “One key to successful electrification is efficient thermal management. With the Coolant Control Hub, we are therefore now launching an innovative subsystem that revolutionizes thermal management in the vehicle.”
HELLA’s Coolant Control Hub (CCH) is based on a modular principle and, in its highest level of integration, connects three circuits with each other in the vehicle: the battery, interior electronics as well as the power electronics and electric motor circuit. “What they all have in common is a significant reduction in components, which means that logistics and overall costs for installing the vehicle can be reduced – a major advantage for manufacturers,” says Twiehaus.
In addition, the centralization leads to an ideal distribution of thermal energy in the vehicle. The precise order of magnitude after optimization depends on the respective architecture and layout of the customer. “We configure a custom product for our customers according to the platform architecture of the vehicle,” Twiehaus explained. For example, CCH combines multi-way valves, actuators, distribution systems, electronic circulation pumps, expansion tanks and heat exchangers as well as sensors in one product. “This allows for significant improvements in the structure and number of individual components such as actuators and water lines.”
HELLA has implemented an advanced valve concept based on its high level of system expertise in the areas of fluidics, engines, electronics and software, as well as its interfaces with the cooling- and refrigerant system and its many years of know-how in high-performance electric pumps and actuators. The innovative 7-way valve, for which a patent is already pending, makes it possible to achieve ideal heat recovery and thus to increase efficiency. In short, this helps distribute heating or cooling demand for the vehicle’s critical components as needed, resulting in improved thermal performance.