More than 60% of German electric buses (e-buses) in 2021 used Konvekta’s CO2 (R744) heat pump systems, according to a recent statement from the German manufacturer.
In doing so, transport companies are reducing costs and energy consumption, as well as reducing the need to invest in additional charging points or larger fleets, said Konvekta.
The e-bus is a major component of many cities’ urban mobility strategy, with a large number having “procured, tested or even started to switch to electric vehicles,” Konvekta said.
On the market since 2018, Konvekta’s CO2 heat pumps are used by electric vehicles across Europe, with Germany as its main market. As of January 2022, Konvekta had installed its CO2 heat pumps in more than 1,300 electric buses and rail vehicles. By the end of this year, the company hopes to have at least 1,800 units in the field.
While e-buses may look similar to their petrol or diesel counterparts, their technology is completely different and creates many challenges for manufacturers and component suppliers, explained Konvekta.
“As electric mobility is missing the waste heat from the engine, which is necessary to keep the vehicle at the right temperature, components such as the heating and air-conditioning system suddenly become just as important as the electric drive.”
“As electric mobility is missing the waste heat from the engine, components such as the heating and air-conditioning system suddenly become just as important as the electric drive.”Konvekta
Advantage over electric heaters
To overcome this challenge, some e-bus manufacturers have opted for electric heaters to meet heating demand, but these systems draw a lot of energy from the vehicles’ battery. According to Konvekta, to generate 1kWh of heating energy, an electric heater uses 1.1–1.23kWh of energy from the battery. Field tests have shown that the use of such heaters can use so much energy that the range of e-buses can be reduced by more than 50%.
By contrast, Konvekta’s CO2 heat pump systems obtain 75% of their heat energy from the environment, reducing energy demand and extending the range of the vehicle.
A Konvekta heat pump with the addition of the manufacturer’s AES-Mode software can produce 1kWh of heat with just 0.63kWh of electricity, saving the bus operator 0.6kWh of energy for each 1kWh of heat it needs.
Depending on the vehicle, at -10°C (14°F) outdoor temperature, Konvekta’s CO2 heat pump requires around 45kWh per 100km (62.1mi), while conventional electric heating components require more than 110kWh over the same range.
The CO2 heat pumps from Konvekta, which can switch from heating to cooling, consist of an air-to-air circuit and an air-to-water circuit.
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