The automotive industry is increasing the time, attention and resources put into supplying electric vehicles that meet the environmental desires and performance demands of consumers. JVIS is staying on the cutting edge of those changing needs and expectations through the development of new heating technology. The technology is ideally suited for the electric vehicles, addressing current assembly and power limitations.
“We’re just introducing our carbon nanotube technology to the automotive market,” Karl Krohn, an electrical engineer at JVIS for the past six years, said. “It’s something that’s been in development for several years.”
Working with global partners, CNT technology is poised to revolutionize the automotive industry by replacing a cumbersome process of installing interior touch-zone heated components that can fall short of their potential with streamlined technology that is designed to last and not fail.
“What’s in place today is called a wire mat. It is a fabric material with a continuous wire that runs through it. The wire mat is then stitched into the seat material. You pass current through that wire, causing it to heat up. However, there are some issues with that technology. If the wire gets pinched or breaks, the heating mechanism could be rendered inoperable,” Krohn said, noting that there is also difficulty securing the wire mat to the seat material. “We’ve talked to some suppliers, and they’ve had some problems when it comes to attaching it through their stitching process.”
With CNT technology, heating component is created through a screen-printing process with material built up on a layer of film. The heating element of this new process is the carbon nanotubes. Since CNT is on film, it has an adhesive base that can basically facilitate a peel-and-stick application method. This makes the assembly process much easier and more flexible, while also improving the reliability of the product.
“If one of the heating elements fails or breaks, the others will continue to function. That’s a big advantage,” Krohn said. “The seat will still heat up because it’s just that one element won’t heat up.”
Yet the benefits don’t just end there. In side-by-side tests with the current touch-zone heating technology, CNT heats up 50% faster, uses less power in doing so and saves weight.
“Especially on an electric vehicle, that will be something that is a large benefit,” Krohn said. “You’re getting more output but using less power. From a performance standpoint, you’re heating faster, using less power while achieving a weight improvement. These are all positive performance attributes for electric vehicles especially.”
The CNT technology has applications that extend to every touch zone in a vehicle’s interior and beyond.
“We’ve looked at seating, obviously, but it also lends itself to heating the armrests, whether it’s a center console or on the doors,” Krohn said. “Beyond the seat and armrest, we’ve been working on a cabin heater using the same CNT technology.”
With the current internal combustion engine, as the engine heats up, the coolant heats up, which is then used to run the vehicle’s interior heating system.
“With an electric vehicle, you don’t have that engine that heats up, so we can use that carbon nanotube technology as a cabin heater,” Krohn said.
This new JVIS technology offers original equipment manufacturers a low-cost solution to enhance all interior touch zones of their vehicles with a high-performance heating pad so consumers enjoy comfort and warmth while driving in cold conditions.
Higher performance, lower Implementation costs, lower power consumption: Innovation is behind every one of the technology solutions JVIS offers.