Scientists investigate heat transfer in car seats
The government hopes that by 2020 there will be 20 million electric cars on Germany's roads. However, to make electric vehicles attractive to large parts of the population, one of the aspects that needs to be improved is their range.
Intelligent energy management is the key to increased range for electric cars.
The key to this is intelligent energy management, and this includes not only the drive technology and construction of the vehicle but also "energy guzzlers" such as the air conditioning and interior heating systems. In electric cars, both of these have to operate from the power supply, at the expense of the vehicle's range.
In the light of this, scientists from the Hohenstein Institute (Bönnigheim), FILK (Freiberg) and IHD (Dresden) have been investigating the factors affecting the design of thermally optimised car seats. The aims of the project (IGF No.18080 BG) are to establish the theoretical principles behind heat transfer in seat covers, create a model of the processes involved in heat transfer and implement it in the design of improved seating.
The researchers are concentrating on using appropriate materials and combining them intelligently to provide a certain amount of passive climate control. They are not looking at "active" solutions such as heating and cooling systems for seats.
In the first phase of the project, the scientists from the three research institutions are studying the effect of the human body, and the heat it emits, on complex upholstery materials. Firstly, they are considering different seat covers using standard and functional textiles. Secondly, they are basing their work on different usage scenarios (see Figure 1).
The constant factor is the "feel-good temperature" which, with textile surfaces, is 23º C. Various different measuring methods can be used to derive quantitative load factors to describe the material or the combination of materials and their heat conduction properties in dry and moist conditions.
These reference values serve as the basis for simulating the processes involved in heat transfer. These simulations are carried out using what is called the Finite Element Method (FEM), a numerical procedure normally used, among other things, to calculate the dimensions of complex components and assemblies in engineering and vehicle manufacture. It can also be used to represent contradictory physical influences and their effects.
The simulations can then be used to calculate the combinations of materials and structural designs which would have the most positive effect on both heating and cooling behaviour. This knowledge will help small and medium-sized automotive suppliers in particular to secure a competitive advantage for themselves in future by increasing comfort levels, saving energy and reducing development costs.
Andrea Höra | Hohenstein Institute
New tech for commercial Lithium-ion batteries finds they can be charged 5 times fast
20.02.2018 | University of Warwick
In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer
19.02.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Polymerforschung
For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.
In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...
Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale
Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...
For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.
But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...
Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.
The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...
Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters
Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...
15.02.2018 | Event News
13.02.2018 | Event News
12.02.2018 | Event News
20.02.2018 | Life Sciences
20.02.2018 | Medical Engineering
20.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy