High-voltage positive temperature coefficient (PTC) heaters have a high heating capacity and are fast acting; thus, they function as the actual main heating equipment in electric cars, and considerable research is devoted to improving their heating performance and efficiency. We evaluated the heating performance of a high-voltage PTC heater for an electric car by building a closed-loop-type test system including an air channel, environment chamber, DC power supply, and data acquisition system, and designed an initial prototype with general characteristics. Using this test system, we analyzed the heating performance characteristics of the heater as a function of changes in the blower airflow, ambient temperature, and battery voltage. We changed the geometrical variables of the heater and conducted an analysis to improve the heating performance and output density of the initial prototype. Based on the heating performance of the initial prototype and its geometrical variables, we designed an improved prototype and compared its heating performance and output density with that of the initial prototype. As a result, we achieved a heating capacity of 5.52 kW, a pressure drop of 48.2 Pa, and an efficiency of 98%, whereas the output density was 3.45 kW/kg, which is a 24% improvement over the initial prototype.
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