Thermal Management

Fields of Activity

  • Model based consulting
  • Alternative technologies for cabin heating/cooling – design and testing
  • Heat management strategies design and optimisation
  • Heating and cooling of automotive components - design and testing
  • Design of cooling circuits
  • Test bench design

General information

All drive train concepts involve a certain waste heat, which is currently used for heating purposes only. By means of innovative technologies and concepts these thermal energies can be used to reduce or even avoid the additional consumption for ancillary units, e.g. the air-conditioning compressor. Hence such concepts will improve the overall efficiency of the car through waste-heat recovery.

For the development of future vehicle concepts, e.g. battery electric vehicles, the thermal management will be even more important, as the demand for cooling will increase, mainly for battery climatisation. Furthermore, the available waste heat for such concepts will decrease. In addition to an increasing cooling demand, future car concepts will have a considerable heating and dehumidification demand, for both comfort and security reasons. Considering the decreasing waste heat, additional components, for heating and dehumidification purposes will be necessary. However, these units will as well increase the system costs as decrease the overall efficiency.

To fulfil these rising requirements the Institute for Automotive Engineering (ika) focuses on several key-topics:

  • Adsorption based heat-pumps and chillers
  • Sorption and phase change thermal storages
  • Integrated overall concepts and innovative control strategies
  • Mechanically driven heat-pumps
  • Reduction of thermal demands

Business activities cover model-based design, prototyping, car integration and measurement.

Have a look at our research projects here.


Modular Electric Drivetrains

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OPTimised Energy Management and USe

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Optimized Operation of a Latent Heat Storage System in Electrified Vehicles

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Institute for Automotive Engineering (ika)
RWTH Aachen University

Steinbachstraße 7
52074 Aachen · Germany

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+49 241 80 25600
+49 241 80 22147

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