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April 14, 2022

Denso details its tech in new EVs

New heat pump flow and radiant heating.

By Graeme Roberts

Denso has listed electrification components supplied for Toyota and Subaru’s new bZ4X and Solterra EVs, scheduled to be released on 12 May 2022 (in Japan) and mid-2022 respectively.

Newly-developed products include:

  • Current Sensor, which detects the flow of charging and discharging battery electricity
  • Electricity Supply Unit (ESU), which integrates the functions of battery charging, electrical power conversion, and electrical power distribution
  • Heat Pump System, which extracts heat from the air and uses it as a heat source for the vehicle climate control system
  • Radiant Heating System, which warms the passengers lower body, only for bZ4X

Other products include:

  • Sensors, which monitor battery voltage and temperature
  • Battery Monitoring Electronic Control Unit (ECU), which monitors the status of the battery
  • BEV ECU, which combines sensor information to control energy flow
  • Inverters, which are used in the eAxle, Blue Nexus Corporation’s driving modules for electric vehicles

The EVs have a new, highly efficient heat pump system, which consumes less power, but efficiently extracts heat from the air for heating functions, and the radiant heating system. The claimed world first system activates a defrosting function while the BEV is moving.

The refrigeration cycle has been changed to a receiver cycle using a multifunction valve called MCV-e(Multi-flow Control Valve for ev) which improves the heat pump’s cooling performance while reducing the number of components comparing to accumulator cycle systems.

Heat is exchanged between the high temperature water circuit, low temperature water circuit and the refrigeration cycle using the MCV-e.

Greater battery cooling performance is achieved using a high performance small chiller. A sharp rise in battery temperature is suppressed to ensure stable energy output from the battery. Energy is used up efficiently even when the battery temperature significantly changes, such as when driving at high speed.

The radiant heating system extends electric driving range when the heating is on. Combination with the heat pump system, the highly heated surface efficiently warms just the occupants and reduces the energy required.

The heater surface has a thin-film structure that can be heated to over 100°C in about a minute to quickly warm the knee area. With this claimed world first heater structure technology, the moment a passenger touches the heater surface, its temperature drops below 50°C.

The thin-film structure has a built-in contact sensor that detects an occupant’s contact and stops heating as long as it is touched.

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