Engineering specialist IAV and Louisenthal, engaged in the production of security foils and papers for banknotes, announced a new passenger compartment heating concept for EVs.
The idea is to use a thin, transparent, cost-effective and easy-to-process SmartMesh foil from Louisenthal. Since the SmartMesh foil has a mesh of conductive tracks on its surface, it can be installed in various places around passengers (like doors) to provide additional heat (alongside the standard heating system).
"The foil is easily integrated into doors, the center console and roof lining. On applying the operating voltage, it warms up and radiates heat into the passenger compartment for vehicle occupants. The heating foil is transparent which means it can be combined with ambient lightning or LED design elements."
According to the German partners, SmartMesh will allow for reducing the time of heating to the desired temperature, and then reduce the heating power by 20% to maintain the temperature (compared to conventional electric heating), which overall should save a bit of range - up to 6%.
"IAV has simulated use of the foil in vehicle trims with 3D CFD software and, using a demonstrator, shown how it works on a car door interior trim. The result of the simulation: to begin with, a comfortable climate in the passenger compartment can be achieved for the driver and passengers in less time at low outside temperatures thanks to the additional integrated heating foils. After the heating-up phase, the total amount of energy required for heating the passenger compartment can be reduced by up to 20 percent as a result of the heat that is radiated. This increases the vehicle’s cruising range – in the best case by up to six percent."
Louisenthal explains that it can produce the SmartMesh foils on an industrial scale in large quantities, which means that EV makers can easily get the parts. Whether they will decide to use the SmartMesh in the coming years or not, will give us a clear answer whether this system is a viable option.
An important thing about improved heating is that it saves range in cold weather, when the range is lower and more important (than increasing the peak range in optimum conditions).