Start talking about gas-powered cars, and immediately the conversation is dominated by how well the car performs, what kind of mileage it gets, and maybe how high its emissions are. Start talking about electric cars, and all anyone wants to know is how far it goes on a full charge, how long it takes to charge the battery, and how long does the battery last anyway.
While electric cars are becoming more popular, no one wants to buy a vehicle that doesn’t have the same features and comforts as a gas-powered model – and one of the main issues in comfort is climate control. Unless you’re lucky enough to live somewhere where it’s 72 degrees and sunny all year round, you don’t want the inside of your car to be the same temperature as the world outside. However, when it comes to electric cars? All that climate control is a major drain on the battery and reduces the car’s range.
The company Konvekta AG, specializing in climate control systems, is tackling the issue of getting the inside of the car comfortable without using too much power. They think the solution is using carbon dioxide.
Konvekta already makes environmentally friendly A/C and heating systems using CO2 as a refrigerant (not a new idea, but certainly one that causes much less damage than something like Freon), and they think that their systems could be ideal for electric cars.
The Konvekta CO2 systems don’t have a secondary circuit and draw less power when operating the heat pump, which still heats the cabin quickly in winter and cools it rapidly in summer. The system also keeps the batteries at optimum operating temperature, which they believe can extend the range of the vehicle by up to 40% (the colder it is, the worse your batteries work – it’s the right season to try putting something electric outside and check for yourself).
The caveat to Konvekta’s range-increasing climate control system using a (mostly) non-toxic, inflammable, natural and stable refrigerant is that it doesn’t work quite yet. Research is ongoing – and if they can get it going, it’ll help make electric cars even greener. Worth a shot or not? Let us know what you think, in the comments below.
Source: Oekonews.at | Image: Konvekta.