Application of Magnetocaloric Heat Pumps in Mobile Air-Conditioning

Published April 8, 2013 by SAE International in United States
Application of Magnetocaloric Heat Pumps in Mobile Air-Conditioning
Citation: Torregrosa-Jaime, B., Vasile, C., Risser, M., Muller, C. et al., "Application of Magnetocaloric Heat Pumps in Mobile Air-Conditioning," SAE Int. J. Passeng. Cars - Mech. Syst. 6(2):520-528, 2013,
Language: English


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.

In order to assist the design of the system, a dynamic model has been developed for the cabin, the hydraulic loops and heat exchangers, and the magnetocaloric units. An integrated design of the complete system is necessary, as it will work under dynamic conditions which depend on the thermal load in the cabin. In this paper, the operation conditions of the magnetocaloric units are presented and the design of the magnetocaloric air-conditioner is discussed.

This work has been developed under the frame of the European Project ICE which aims to develop an innovative mobile air-conditioning system for EVs based on a magnetocaloric heat pump.