Issue: Dec 2011


Sheetak and Delphi to Develop Efficient HVAC for EV/HEVs Through DOE



System to Extend Vehicle Range While Keeping Passengers Comfortable

by Jon Knox

Sheetak Inc. has been awarded a $4.7 million contract by the Department of Energy's Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) to develop a thermal energy storage system for supplemental heating or cooling for electric vehicles (EV) and hybrid electric vehicles (HEV). Delphi Automotive (NYSE: DLPH) will partner with Sheetak to accelerate systems integration and commercialization.

The project, Thermoelectric Reactors for Efficient Automotive Thermal Storage (TREATS(TM)), is part of ARPA-E's High Energy Advanced Thermal Storage (HEATS) program. Currently in development, the system will be light-weight and operate without the need for air conditioning refrigerant. The system will significantly reduce electrical power draw from batteries, thereby extending the fuel economy and driving range of electric and hybrid vehicles.

The new system will utilize Sheetak's high-efficiency solid-state energy converters and thermal storage systems to supplement compressor-based HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) systems. Integrating a traditional HVAC system with the supplemental system can increase the range of electric or hybrid vehicles. 

Sheetak's hot and cold thermal storage in TREATS(TM) has volumetric energy density greater than that of electrical batteries. Charging and discharging of the TREATS(TM) thermal storage will be achieved via the solid state converters.

"Traditional HVAC systems can cause a significant reduction in the driving range of electric vehicles when the air conditioner or heater is turned on," said Dr. Prasad Kadle, director advanced engineering, Delphi Thermal Systems. "EV and HEV drivers should be able to experience both comfort and extended range. Delphi and Sheetak are developing innovative HVAC technologies that help improve EV/HEV range."

"We are thrilled that ARPA-E has selected Sheetak to develop TREATS," said Dr. Uttam Ghoshal, President and CEO of Sheetak. "With the ARPA-E's support and partnership with Delphi, we can introduce efficient energy conversion technologies for heating and cooling in electric vehicles. These novel approaches result in better cost metrics and energy storage densities than the existing methods. The development of these energy converters can also accelerate commercialization of other applications in the energy sector."

TREATS is the second ARPA-E collaborative agreement signed by Sheetak. The earlier project was funded to develop advanced thin film thermoelectric coolers that can replace traditional compressor systems in refrigerators.

About Sheetak

Sheetak Inc. is a provider of breakthrough solid state energy conversion technology to the refrigeration, HVAC, and power generation markets. Sheetak has developed electronic cooling engines for refrigerator OEMs in the US and India and commercialized low-cost refrigerators viable for the "bottom billion" in developing countries. Sheetak's mission is to replace compressors and provide a clean, efficient and affordable solution for a variety of cooling applications. The same technology platform can be utilized for developing efficient and cost effective solar generators and combustion power generators.

About Delphi

Delphi is a leading global supplier of electronics and technologies for automotive, commercial vehicle and other market segments. 

Operating major technical centers, manufacturing sites and customer support facilities in 30 countries, Delphi delivers real-world innovations that make products smarter and safer as well as more powerful and efficient. Connect to innovation at www.delphi.com.


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