Pierburg, a subsidiary of German parts maker Rheinmetall Automotive, has developed an AC compressor for EVs that integrates the compressor, electric motor and power electronics into one modular, compact unit.
In ICE vehicles, the AC compressor is typically driven by a pulley and V-belt. EVs lack this mechanism, so the AC compressor is driven by an electric motor integrated into the vehicle’s high-voltage network.
For its all-in-one compressor, Pierburg says it focused on low weight and high operating efficiency. The compressor unit also includes an electronically controlled expansion valve for the refrigerant circuit, which can regulate the refrigerant flow by means of an electric actuator.
The design allows both air conditioning during warm outside temperatures and heat pump operation at low temperatures. Using a more efficient heat pump reduces energy use, which increases vehicle range.