JOSPEL technologies improve energy efficiency

Nearly one hundred stakeholders from the electric vehicle industry and affiliated sectors attended the workshop Innovative Research to Improve Energy Efficiency in EVs that recently took place in Vigo, Spain.

The workshop marked the official end of the trans-European project collaboration JOSPEL, which has developed a novel energy efficient climate control system to help reduce the energy used for passenger comfort in electric vehicles – and the result are impressive with energy savings of more than 57% for heating and cooling systems combined with optimized thermal management, eco-driving technologies, weight reduction and improved cabin insulation.

Taking its name from the thermoelectric Joule and Peltier effects, which are key elements in the energy saving technologies, the JOSPEL project was initiated three and a half years ago with an ambition to significantly reduce the amount of energy that is wasted on heating and cooling in electric vehicles. Since then, industry and research partners from Spain, Croatia, Italy, United Kingdom, Luxembourg, France, Portugal, Denmark and Germany have worked to develop, implement, and test innovative technologies that could help improve the energy consumption and optimize the battery capacity, thereby extending the range of electric vehicles. With the impressive project results, JOSPEL contributes to breaking down one of the major barriers for a wider market introduction of electric vehicles.

With goals of reducing the energy used for passenger comfort heating and cooling with at least 50 %, the JOSPEL project has been very ambitious. Consequently, we are extremely pleased that the goals have been achieved – and even surpassed. This means that our efforts can help make electric vehicles more energy efficient and marketable in the future, says technical coordinator, Begoña Galindo Galiana ​from AIMPLAS.

Technological improvements lead to impressive energy savings

At the heart of the JOSPEL project are the thermoelectric Joule and Peltier effects, which have shown significant potential in terms of reducing the amount of energy used for heating and cooling in electric vehicle cabins. A heating system based on the Joule effect creates a radiant heating in the vehicle cabin which – combined with fresh air fans for air renewal – results in an improvement of the passenger thermal comfort sensation. Thermoplastic panels and thermoset textiles were developed as heating elements, thereby reducing the energy consumption with at least 30 % compared to existing PTC heaters. Climatic chamber tests were carried out to simulate extreme climate conditions in the car, and the thermal comfort was evaluated with sensors (ISO14505-2) and real passengers (ISO14505-3). The JOSPEL heating solutions were close to perfection, as the warm body with fresh air from the fans resulted in a thermal comfort classification of neutral to slightly warm.

In addition to developing new heating and cooling systems based on thermoelectric technology, JOSPEL has applied optimized thermal management to the battery and other vehicle components, and by adding eco-driving technologies, the project has achieved further energy reductions of 24 %. Last but not least, lightweight technologies and improved cabin insulation using new glazing designs shaves an additional 3 % off the energy consumption. With this holistic approach to energy management, JOSPEL has reduced the energy consumption related to passenger comfort systems with a total of 57%. Moreover, the life of the electric vehicle battery was extended with 15% thanks to its improved thermal management.

To document the effects of the JOSPEL developments, all systems and technologies have been installed in two demonstrator vehicles that have undergone extensive testing, e.g. in a full-vehicle climatic chamber.

The image below shows the climatic chamber where tests for thermal comfort evaluation were carried out. To the left is the state-of-the-art vehicle, and to the right is the JOSPEL vehicle.

By bringing together science and industry from across Europe, JOSPEL has managed to exploit emerging research opportunities in the field of heating and cooling, insulation, and communication systems for electric vehicles. With the project coming to an end, the next step is to make the results, approaches and technologies available to SMEs and companies in the electric vehicle industry, so they can advance them further in the pursuit of a cleaner, healthier, and more sustainable society, says Itziar Carracedo Fernández from AIMPLAS, who is the project manager of JOSPEL.

The JOSPEL project, which has had a total budget of 6.7 million Euro, has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 653851.