Heat is a problem for electric car drivers. If you crank it up too high, it kills your range. Many EV drivers simply add an extra sweater, a ski parka, a scarf, gloves, and fur-lined boots to make it to work in the morning without freezing to death. But now there may be a better way. The Fruanhofer thin-film heater quickly provides comfortable warmth in electric cars — a blessing on short trips on frosty winter mornings.
The heater uses a film that is coated with a very thin layer of conductive carbon nanotubes (CNTs). “The film is glued to the inner door trim and generates a comfortable warmth there in the area of the armrest within a very short time,” says Serhat Sahakalkan, project manager at Fraunhofer, which is located in Stuttgart, Germany.
The Fruanhofer thin-film heater functions in accordance with the Joule principle: When electricity flows through the film, it comes across a natural resistance between the individual nanoparticles. These “collisions” generate heat. Extremely thin film saves energy and costs compared to conventional electric resistance heaters of the type used in electric cars. Ordinary heaters employ a copper wire embedded in silicone mats, according to Phys.org.