Due to increasing regulation on emissions and shifting consumer preferences, the wide adoption of battery electric vehicles (BEV) hinges on research and development of technologies that can extend system range. This can be accomplished either by increasing the battery size or via more efficient operation of the electrical and thermal systems. This study endeavours to accomplish the latter through comparative investigation of BEV integrated thermal management system (ITMS) performance across a range of ambient conditions (-20 °C to 40 °C), cabin setpoints (18 °C to 24 °C), and six different ITMS architectures. A dynamic ITMS modelling framework for a long-range electric vehicle is established with comprehensive sub models for the operation of the drive train, power electronics, battery, vapor compression cycle components, and cabin conditioning in a comprehensive transient thermal system modelling environment. A baseline thermal management system is studied using this modelling framework, as well as four common thermal management systems found in literature. This study is novel for its combination of comprehensive BEV characterization, broad parametric analysis, and the long range BEV that is studied. Additionally, a novel low-temperature waste heat recovery (LT WHR) system is proposed and has shown achieve up to a 15% range increase at low temperatures compared to the baseline system, through the reduction of the necessary cabin ventilation loading. While this system shows performance improvements, the regular WHR system offers the greatest benefit, a 13.5% increase in cold climate range, for long-range BEV drive cycles in terms of system range and transient response without the need for additional thermal system equipment.

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T.J. Shelly, J.A. Weibel, D. Ziviani, and E.A. Groll, Comparative analysis of battery electric vehicle thermal management systems under long-range drive cycles, Applied Thermal Engineering 198, p. 117506, 2021.