Innovative thermal energy storage system for use in automobiles

Funding Details
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
  • Grant type: Automotive Partnership Canada Project
  • Years: 2010/11 to 2012/13
  • Total Funding: $234,000
Principle Investigator(s)

Project Summary

Increased fuel economy leads to more energy management in automotive design. With less energy conversion the passenger comfort heat demand will require waste energy storage and reuse. This would contribute to reduced start up emissions and shorter time period of increased fuel consumption of a cold engine and power train through active warming of the power train oils. Even greater emphasis of this technology is expected for hybrid and electric vehicles. A major barrier to on board storage using engine coolant suffers from low heat storage density, low temperature level at 80-100oC and high heat leakage. Chemical heat storage offers high heat storage density and operational temperature limits but suffers from lack of demonstrable operation. The purpose of this study is to determine an appropriate metal oxide hydroxide reactor to efficiently store and release internal combustion engine waste exhaust energy. The investigation will compare functionality against the known and viable improvements to sensible and latent heat storage technology. Metal oxide hydroxide heat store and retrieval is considered a promising technology lacking sufficient reactor mechanics understanding for commercial applications. At the same time, latent heat storage based on a phase change material will be investigated to identify the relative advantages of chemical and latent heat storage systems. This work will lead to better understanding of the mechanics of reactor design and operational issues that will enable its commercial applications.