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ELECTROMOBILITY The worldwide first e-bus equipped with KAORI CO2 brazed plate heat exchanger

Editor: Nicole Kareta

The very first electric bus equipped with KAORI CO2 brazed plate heat exchanger has been operated by the public transport company in Europe since 2019. After ten years of intensive tests, KAORI’s patented CO2 brazed plate heat exchanger is proven as a great part of the e-bus CO2 heat pump system by global vehicle manufacturers, with sophisticated technology achieving its goals.

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The CO2 heat pump technology has excellent thermodynamic properties.
The CO2 heat pump technology has excellent thermodynamic properties.
(Source: KAORI)

The CO2 heat pump provides not only the heating and cooling for the passenger compartment but is also integrated into the battery thermal management system to provide optimal operating temperature for maximum range and battery lifetime. CO2 as a refrigerant for EV’s air conditioning system has been one of the most popular trends to maximize energy-saving and drastically reduce CO2 emissions.

While using HFC or HFO refrigerant for EV heat pump and battery thermal management system under cold conditions, heating and cooling of the passenger compartment consumes more energy. By selecting the CO2 heat pump technology with its excellent thermodynamic properties, the situation can be highly improved due to the higher COP (Coefficient of Performance) of CO2 results in lower energy consumption. Moreover, the heating source is from ambient air via the thermodynamic cycle, not fuel or electricity.

The battery thermal management system for electric vehicles needs to maintain the proper operating temperature through the cooling and heating of the battery coolant during charging and discharging. The CO2 heat pump system provides perfect temperature control, eliminating the need for additional thermal assistance like an electrical heater and thus improving battery life and energy loss.

In an unprecedented science-backed statement, Europe’s truck manufacturers have concluded that by 2040, all new trucks sold need to be fossil fuel-free in order to reach carbon-neutrality by 2050. More and more luxury automobile manufacturers announce EVs for the future market.

The next wave of EVs are not only cars and semi-trucks; there are much more. For example, China high-speed train air-conditioning system manufacturers are investing in developing of CO2 refrigerant systems very quickly. KAORI CO2 brazed plate heat exchanger is proven by the China Railway Group research team. The team has completed the 45kW KAORI suction line Heat Exchanger specifications verification, ready for Kaori to play a vital role in the new era of the R744 (CO2) heat pump system applied in public trains.

The KAORI CO2 brazed plate heat exchanger can be used not only as the suction line heat exchanger but also as a gas cooler, evaporator, etc., in the CO2 system. Its highly optimized plate design helps the space required smaller than other heat exchangers, and its lighter weight also helps the overall thermal system design more compact.

By equipping state of the art CO2 natural refrigerant, higher COP heat pump systems and battery pack thermal management systems will enhance EV driving range, providing sustainable transportation that is ideal for the environment. And for passengers, it creates quiet compartment, eliminates harmful exhaust emissions, and brings benefits to the air we breathe.

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