As HVAC systems (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) in modern vehicles consume substantial amounts of energy, and therefore fuel or electrical energy stored in the battery of a BEV (Battery Electric Vehicle), JLR is undertaking research projects that could dramatically reduce energy consumption when cooling or heating the cabin. Gone are the days of a simple but ineffective waft from the Smiths heater in a Series Land Rover…
Instead of continuously cooling or heating air flow as it enters the car, JLR is investigating how a vehicle could heat or cool an ‘air bubble’ inside the vehicle once, then maintain the temperature and quality using innovative HVAC technologies.
These technologies include Infra-Red Reflective glass (IRR), tailored towards the solar radiation of an individual country or region. Reflecting the sun's rays, the glass would reduce the energy required to cool the inside of the car.
To ensure the warmed or cooled air is breathable without harm, cabin air would be passed through a special filter in the boot of the vehicle, removing CO2, moisture and particles from the cabin air, providing better air quality inside the vehicle compared to out.It might not even be necessary to heat or cool volumes of air in the future, instead directly heating or cooling the occupants with air flowing through porous surfaces in the seats.
Infra-red panels, embedded out-of-sight inside sun visors, door tops, the glove box door and the sides of the transmission tunnel, would surround an occupant in their personal microclimate, warming only their skin rather than maintaining the entire cabin at a given temperature.
Because these panels would heat up efficiently and quickly, paired with the immediate sensation of heat, energy consumption could be reduced dramatically.
Combining these techniques, early tests have shown that it is possible to reduce HVAC consumption by half.
The technology is currently being showcased at Milbrook's CENEX Low Carbon Vehicle event.