Application of Magnetocaloric Heat Pumps in Mobile Air-Conditioning
Air-conditioning (AC) is an important sub-system in electric vehicles (EVs). AC is responsible for the highest energy consumption among all the auxiliary systems. As the energy is delivered by the batteries, the power consumption for air-conditioning can imply a significant reduction of the vehicle autonomy. Given the actual state of the art and the temperature and power requirements, electrically driven compressors are the most feasible solution. However, vapour-compression systems are reaching their maximum efficiency. Using innovative technologies can improve the performance of standard systems and hereby increase the vehicle autonomy. This paper presents the first steps in the design of a magnetocaloric air-conditioner for an electric minibus. The system will include two reversible magnetocaloric heat pumps, one in the front part of a minibus and one on the rear. The heat rejection system of the power electronics will be coupled to the air-conditioning system.