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John O | October 2018

Continental to present thermal management system that enhances electric vehicle performance

By Josh Perry, Editor


At the Global Future Mobility Conference and Expo 2018 at the Hangzhou (China) International Expo Center in September, German technology company Continental revealed new high-performance thermal management solutions that enhance the performance, charging rate, and lifetime of electric vehicles.


New are the Coolant Flow Control Valves (CFCV) that serve to flexibly switch heating and coolant circuits. (Continental AG)


According to a press release from the company, these solutions will also work with traditional combustion engines, providing a more-efficient and cleaner ride. It added, “Electric vehicles will offer considerably more range during very cold or hot ambient temperatures as TM helps to protect the battery charge level – plus it speeds up the charging process.”


Continental has energy-efficient pumps and sensors for thermal management and is adding new coolant flow control valves (CFCV) to switch between heating and cooling circuits. There is also a “Smart Rubber,” which integrates sensor functions in to the lines and hoses running from the valves.


The company claims that these systems will improve EV performance in cold weather (-10°C) by 25 percent.


“The Continental Thermal Management is based on a flexible and modular set of components, which allow to design economic solutions for different electrified vehicles,” said Klaus Hau, Head of Sensors and Actuators business unit, Continental Powertrain division, in the press release. “The substantial range increase of electric vehicles and the faster charging are particularly attractive features. Continental’s global presence, innovation and focus on quality in a competitive market place make us an ideal partner for an automotive manufacturer´s thermal management systems.”


Continental also believes these thermal management systems will minimize fuel consumption and emissions from combustion engines and hybrids.


To improve battery charging and performance for electric vehicles, Continental’s system will precondition the battery (raise or lower the temperature to the optimal conditions) in adverse environments. “During charging, for instance, active cooling of the battery prevents a de-rating of the charge current because the battery temperature is controlled,” the announcement explained.


In the CFCV, an actuator with a brushless motor minimizes the energy consumption and the lightweight design and small size gives manufacturers flexibility in where it can be placed inside the vehicle.

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