With market share of electric vehicles continue to grow, there is an increasing demand of mobile heat pump for cabin climate control, as it has much higher energy efficiency when compared to electric heating and helps to cut drive range reduction. One big challenge of heat pump systems is that their heating capacities drop significantly when operating at very low ambient temperature, especially for those with low pressure refrigerants. This paper presents a way to improve low ambient temperature heating performance by using intermediate vapor bypass with the outdoor heat exchanger, which works as an evaporator in heat pump mode. The experimental results show a 35% increase of heating capacity at 20 °C ambient with the improved system as compared to the baseline, and heating performance factor also slightly increased when the system is working at higher ambient temperature to reach the same heating capacity as the baseline. Further improvement of system design and heat exchanger optimization is underway.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Automotive Engineering
- Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
- Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering