Summer is here, with temperatures reaching ever higher levels on hot days. This also affects the sensitive batteries installed in electric vehicles. Continental offers a solution that safeguards the performance of these batteries, while also enhancing their sustainability.
The electric vehicle market is booming, with a million electric cars rolling onto the global market every month. Each one is equipped with a high-performance battery that, like the entire vehicle electronics, is extremely temperature-sensitive. Electric vehicles perform best at optimal temperatures. That’s when the battery, the electronic systems, the electric motor and the charging process operate at their most efficient.
If a battery gets too cold, its power drops; if it gets too hot, its service life is reduced. Depending on the outside temperatures, the batteries therefore either need to be either heated or cooled. Continental’s optimized thermal management system is ideally suited for this task.
Lightweight, compact and wear-resistant
The solution, which uses products and fluids from Continental, comes into its own in electric vehicles and is far more sophisticated than comparable systems in combustion engines. It involves line systems and connections that enable the exchange of thermal energy between a number of vehicle components. The thermal management system keeps the temperature of vehicle batteries within the optimal range, extending the service life of the battery, increasing the vehicle’s range and ensuring greater overall safety on the road.
With their ultra-lightweight thermoplastic material, the coolant hoses also significantly reduce vehicle weight. Moreover, since these hoses are compact and wear-resistant, save energy compared with rubber hoses during production and are easy to recycle, they improve the vehicle’s overall carbon footprint – further improving the sustainability of the thermal management system.
Materials expertise for enhanced sustainability
Occupant well-being is also improved because the line systems help regulate the temperature in the passenger compartment. Our innovative solutions for thermal management bring significant advantages, including greater range, optimized battery performance and better efficiency, as well as improved comfort. Continental’s materials competence is also being rewarded on the market. Since last year, two major automobile manufacturers have opted for these Continental products.
Cool computing power
Continental is also setting standards with its new cooling concept for high-performance computers (HPCs), which can be expanded with additional modules using a plug-and-play solution to increase computing power. With the aid of an innovative liquid cooling system using flexible cooling pads, the HPC and its components are kept at a safe operating temperature when the system is upgraded or individual modules are replaced. This makes software upgrades and the replacement of modules significantly easier.
Both this new cooling concept and the thermal management system demonstrate that Continental offers innovative thermal management components, further advancing the transformation of the automotive industry toward emission-free mobility.
The vehicle electronics represent an additional source of heat in electric cars. Here, more computing power also means higher power consumption and, consequently, more heat development. This requires a high level of energy to counteract. For this reason, Continental, jointly with AI specialist Ambarella, is developing complete integrated systems for assisted and automated driving. These multi-sensor systems use Continental cameras, radar and LiDAR sensors and operate on the basis of a particularly high-performance, energy-efficient chip system supplied by Ambarella.
To minimize the energy requirements for evaluating the camera and sensor data, the systems are tailored for high efficiency to process the necessary AI algorithms – and use less energy for cooling. Compared with other chip systems, this can mean an estimated gain in range of at least 30 kilometers for an electric vehicle at the same battery capacity.