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Jaguar Land Rover Unveils Innovative Technologies Aiming to Reduce Energy Consumption

Posted February 29, 2016 3:00 PM by Jordan Perch
Pathfinder Tags: jaguar

British automaker Jaguar Land Rover has been working on various technologies to cut vehicle emissions, specifically focusing on improving the efficiency of Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems. These systems have a significant impact on a gasoline-powered vehicle's fuel economy, as well as on an electric car's driving range, so coming up with a solution for reducing the energy used by HVAC systems can make vehicles more fuel-efficient and lower their emission levels.

Jaguar Land Rover has unveiled two new technologies that it is developing: the "Warm Air Blanket" and "Air Bubble" systems, designed to improve the energy efficiency of HVAC systems.

"Today's HVAC systems can draw 8-10kW from an electric vehicle battery, enough to reduce the range by up to 40 per cent, while air conditioning can reduce the range of an internal combustion engine by up to 20 per cent," said Dr Wolfgang Epple, Director of Research and Technology, Jaguar Land Rover. "So to improve the fuel economy and emissions of internal combustion engines and to enhance the range of a future BEV, we have been rethinking the thermal management of a vehicle cabin. We are developing new methods of heating and cooling the cabin, to achieve substantial reductions in energy consumption."

Jaguar Land Rover's engineers have been working on a technology that can heat or cool an "Air Bubble" within the vehicle, instead of constantly letting fresh air enter the cabin and consuming energy to keep it at the desired temperature. This way, energy will be used much more efficiently, since the system is not conditioning the whole interior of the car, and it is not continuously drawing air from outside the vehicle. What's more, "Air Bubble" uses infra-red reflective glass, so that sun rays can bounce off it, in order to reduce the energy that is needed to cool the car's cabin.

The system also employs a special filter to keep CO2 and particulates from entering inside the vehicle and improve air quality within the cabin.

As far as "Warm Air Blanket" is concerned, Jaguar Land Rover says that it's an innovative solution for drastically cutting the energy used by HVAC systems, by creating a microclimate for each vehicle occupant, instead of heating or cooling the air across the car's interior. By installing infrared panels in various places around the area each individual passenger is sitting in, such as door tops and sun visors, engineers have managed to create a system that can directly warm or cool an occupant's body, rather than increasing or lowering the temperature across the entire cabin. The warm or cool air will be transmitted to an occupant through porous surfaces in the seat.

In addition to requiring less energy, this system helps improve comfort for vehicle occupants, since it allows them to feel the warm or cool air it provides almost immediately.

"By combining these techniques, early test results show it is possible to reduce the consumption of an HVAC system by half, from 8-12kW, to 4-6kW," says the automaker.

In addition to working on systems like the "Warm Air Blanket" and the "Air Bubble", Jaguar Land Rover recently announced that it has developed plug-in hybrid and mild-hybrid technologies, as well as an all-electric vehicle concept, which clearly shows the company's commitment to improving its vehicles' fuel economy and reducing CO2 emissions.


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