Conference Year



mobile air conditioning, heat pump


This paper summarizes the first results of a research project dealing with the development of a reversible heat pump for a passenger car. Heat pump systems appear to be a more efficient alternative to electrical resistance heaters for the purpose of heating the car indoor environment. Heat pump systems could be easily implemented into cars by allowing the air-conditioning system to run in reverse. In order to check the technical feasibility of a reversible heat pump system, and to point out technical barriers, a prototype was built and tested. Experimental data was also used to calibrate and validate simulation models of components. A heat pump system model was finally built to investigate the operating conditions of the system. The first part of the paper describes the test rig (architecture, components, and measurement devices) and the experimental campaign. Performance of components (compressor, evaporator, condenser and heater core) is evaluated in terms of variation with the operating conditions. The second part of the paper presents the steady-state semi-empirical models of the components. Such lumped models retain and concentrate the main physical phenomena inherent to the components into successive elementary processes (pressure losses, heat transfers, etc.). They require a limited number of parameters that can be identified based on experimental data. The calibration and the validation of the proposed component models are detailed. Finally, an overall simulation model of the reversible heat pump system is proposed and used to evaluate the energy performance of the system as function of the operating conditions.