As mobility transitions to electrification, the development of vehicle thermal management systems (VTMS) is becoming increasingly important. The temperature ranges for different components of an electrified propulsion system can vary widely depending on operating and environmental conditions. This makes the development of the thermal system much more complex than in the past and increases the importance of an optimized VTMS. At AVL, we understand the needs and challenges of OEMs, Tiers and Institutes in this regard and offer a wide portfolio of test equipment to help you optimize the thermal layout of your propulsion system components and the overall system.
For more than 25 years, we have intensively developed various conditioning systems and technologies, which are used in high-end engine test cells all over the world. This is the perfect foundation for understanding the increasing complexity of the cooling circuits of electrified propulsion systems in automotive applications. It is also the basis for understanding what our customers need from thermal management system development.
A vehicle thermal management system (VTMS) has a significant impact on the energy efficiency of the entire vehicle and the durability of all components in the propulsion system, such as the battery and inverter. Highly efficient systems require extensive calibration and testing time at the vehicle level, which has a huge impact on development cost and time.
System and Subsystem Testing
Using model-based testing, AVL ThermalLab™ supports you optimize the entire VTMS (all coolant circuits and the refrigerant cycle) under dynamic conditions. The unit under test (UUT) is the complete VTMS embedded in an emulated vehicle, while the environment is fully simulated. Unlike expensive vehicle testing in wind tunnels or on the road, you can test the entire system in the lab under realistic driving and environmental conditions, without vehicle prototypes and outside weather conditions.
Like for the complete thermal system, the model-based testing approach of the AVL ThermalLab™ helps you optimize your thermal components without needing to having the entire VTMS available. Your unit under test (UUT) can be embedded in an emulated vehicle, while a hardware-in-the-loop (HiL) method fully simulates the rest of the thermal system and the environment.
Stringent regulatory requirements for internal combustion engines and the wide variety of powertrain concepts have increased the need for real-world testing. The thermal condition and the environment of the UUT have a strong influence on the real driving results. Therefore, the simulation must be as accurate as possible. To achieve this goal, high performance media conditioning systems are required. They must be adaptable to real vehicle conditions and guarantee high stability in both constant and dynamic operation. They must also be able to simulate extreme environmental conditions.
Batteries, fuel cells, electric motors, and electric axle solutions must operate safely and reliably in any environment. This can mean extreme temperatures and humidity that are impossible to replicate on the test track or in real-life test scenarios on the road. This is why we built the modular AVL Climatic Chamber. The Climatic Chamber safely and reliably simulates a wide range of extreme environmental conditions, providing a high degree of flexibility while minimizing system downtime. In addition, its unique application-based design with pre-defined interfaces ensures quick and easy integration into existing testbeds.
We provide products, solutions, and systems for thermal and environmental conditioning to enable our customers to develop their products with the highest level of efficiency.”
– Stefan Nemec, Global Business Segment Manager, AVL List GmbH
- No prototype vehicles required for the optimization of the entire VTMS
- Development is disengaged from weather conditions and regions
- Analysis of the VTMS components and architecture for range and cabin comfort on the testbed
- Possibility of testing various VTMS concepts with different propulsion systems
25 years of experience in the development of conditioning systems for automotive test systems form the basis for our in-depth understanding of cooling circuits in different electrified propulsion systems. It is also a good base for understanding our customers’ needs regarding thermal management system development.
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