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BorgWarner Introduces New High-Voltage Coolant Heaters

BorgWarner’s coolant heaters can be used in electric and hybrid vehicles.

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BorgWarner´s state-of-the-art coolant heaters are expected to appear in 2021 on the next generation of passenger cars produced by global OEMs. The company has been chosen as a supplier for cabin heating and battery conditioning solutions for several high-volume vehicle programs. Its high-voltage heaters have changed the way automotive engineers think about thermal management requirements for the most advanced electric and plug-in hybrid passenger cars, said the company. 

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Major OEMs on three continents choose BorgWarner’s leading-edge coolant heaters for the latest hybrid and electric cars.

“Our Battery and Cabin Heater has become the technology of choice for some of the most important electric and hybrid vehicle manufacturers in Europe, North America and Asia, helping them to reduce battery consumption while increasing passenger comfort,” said Joe Fadool, president and GM, BorgWarner Emissions, Thermal and Turbo Systems. “Our engineers have a deep system understanding of cabin heating and battery conditioning requirements and are supporting our customers as they prepare new vehicles for start of production.”

The new technology was developed to meet the demand for fast-acting solutions as the heat management systems of vehicles increasingly become decoupled from the internal combustion engine – permanently in the case of EVs and for longer parts of the drive cycle in hybrid electric vehicles.

BorgWarner’s coolant heaters can be used for both passenger cabin heating and improving battery energy performance in electric and hybrid vehicles by offering consistent temperature distribution inside the battery pack and its cells. With high thermal power density and fast response time due to their low thermal mass, these heaters also extend pure electric driving range. The thick film heating element is compact and very flexible regarding sizes and shapes. BorgWarner has engineered two versions – single plate and dual plate. Single plate devices are responsible for either thermal management of the battery or cabin heating, while dual plate versions manage both tasks at the same time while providing up to 80 percent more heat transfer surface. Both versions are integrated into robust aluminum housings that provide excellent electromagnetic shielding. Battery and cabin heaters offer a power range of between 3 and 9 kW. They have been designed for input voltages between 250 and 500 V. If necessary, there is an 800 V alternative to enable faster battery charging.

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Safety was also paramount in the design. The product development team devised a strategy for the high-voltage coolant heaters using intelligent and robust power electronics that enable the prevention of thermal events such as overheating. As soon as the system detects an error it switches off automatically.

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