A new thermal management solution for improving fuel economy
Schaeffler is helping to unlock greater potential through the optimization of internal combustion engines with its thermal management module. This innovative module is key for reducing fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by up to 4%.
The Schaeffler thermal management module is a temperature control unit for the entire drive train. It is integrated in a compact component manufactured from high-strength plastic and combines several functions. While engine temperature has traditionally been controlled in a rudimentary manner by a thermostat located close to the engine, this modern thermal management module controls the temperature conditions in the vehicle more precisely and enables operation in the optimal temperature window in the fastest possible time. This means that the cold running phase is reduced by completely blocking off the cooling jacket. Additionally, the individual components can be operated at higher temperatures than what would be possible with a system controlled by a thermostat. The engine temperature can also be reduced under full load and the tendency for knocking and enrichment of the mixture under full load can be reduced in case of a gasoline engine.
Precise control by means of a rotary slide valve enables the ideal temperature window for the engine and transmission to be reached rapidly. This has a positive effect on both the energy efficiency and life of components in the drive train.
The individual components of the module are also optimized for reduced friction in accordance with Schaeffler’s energy efficiency requirements. This means that the thermal management module can be directly connected to the engine control unit without additional power stages due to its low power consumption.
The thermal management module also removes the design constraint of having to fit the component in close proximity to the engine block, as was traditionally the case with a thermostat located on the engine. Standardized, non-interchangeable hoses reduce assembly times and ensure a high level of seal integrity.
Romain Nicolas opinion:
Thermal management is something that has been neglected during last decade due to low requirements on fuel economy. However, we see that there is a lot to do with water cooling or oil cooling thermal management and a fierce competition is on-going on technological solutions side. Do you think this module can be sold separately from a complete thermal management system, including by-passes, Software strategy and pumping elements?