Independent of the actual power train, efficiency and a high driving range in any weather conditions are two key requirements for future vehicles. Especially during summertime, thermally driven air conditioning systems can contribute to this goal as they can turn the exhaust heat of internal combustion engines, fuel cells or of any additional fuel-based heating system into a cooling effect. Amongst these, metal hydride cooling systems (MHCSs) promise very high specific power densities due to the short reaction times as well as high reaction enthalpies. Additionally, the working fluid hydrogen has a very low global warming potential. In this study, the experimental results of a compact and modular MHCS with a specific cooling power of up to 585 W
referred to one cold generating MH are presented, while reactor and MH weight in total is less than 30 kg and require a volume < 20 dm3
. The system is driven by an auxiliary fuel heating system and its performance is evaluated for different operating conditions, e.g., temperature levels and half-cycle times. Additionally, a novel operation optimization of time-shifted valve switching to increase the cooling power is implemented and investigated in detail.
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