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Thermal battery for portable climate control

Shankar Narayanan, Xiansen Li, Sungwoo Yang, Hyunho Kim, Ari Umans, Ian S. McKay and Evelyn N. Wang

Applied Energy, 2015, vol. 149, issue C, 104-116

Abstract: Current technologies that provide climate control in the transportation sector are quite inefficient. In gasoline-powered vehicles, the use of air-conditioning is known to result in higher emissions of greenhouse gases and pollutants apart from decreasing the gas-mileage. On the other hand, for electric vehicles (EVs), a drain in the onboard electric battery due to the operation of heating and cooling system results in a substantial decrease in the driving range. As an alternative to the conventional climate control system, we are developing an adsorption-based thermal battery (ATB), which is capable of storing thermal energy, and delivering both heating and cooling on demand, while requiring minimal electric power supply. Analogous to an electrical battery, the ATB can be charged for reuse. Furthermore, it promises to be compact, lightweight, and deliver high performance, which is desirable for mobile applications. In this study, we describe the design and operation of the ATB-based climate control system. We present a general theoretical framework to determine the maximum achievable heating and cooling performance using the ATB. The framework is then applied to study the feasibility of ATB integration in EVs, wherein we analyze the use of NaX zeolite–water as the adsorbent–refrigerant pair. In order to deliver the necessary heating and cooling performance, exceeding 2.5kWh thermal capacity for EVs, the analysis determines the optimal design and operating conditions. While the use of the ATB in EVs can potentially enhance its driving range, it can also be used for climate control in conventional gasoline vehicles, as well as residential and commercial buildings as a more efficient and environmentally-friendly alternative.

Keywords: Thermal battery; Thermal energy storage; EV climate control; Adsorption system; Heat pump; HVAC (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2015
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