February 2015

Ceramic components

PTC heating elements for electric vehicles

TDK Corporation presents new EPCOS PTC heating elements for electric vehicles. In contrast to the tried and test heating elements for conventional 12 V onboard power supplies, the new components are designed for the considerably higher voltage batteries in electric vehicles: The rated voltages of these heating elements cover the range from 200 V to 500 V, enabling surface temperatures of up to 250°C to be achieved. Depending on the design, these heating elements are suitable for safe operation at up to 1000 V.

Whereas cars with combustion engines can use waste heat for heating the passenger compartment, electric vehicles require electrical heating. PTC heating elements, which are connected in arrays and installed in heat exchangers, represent an ideal solution as they are self-regulating. The flow of current increases not only the temperature of these ceramic elements, but also their resistance, thereby limiting the current and establishing a stable equilibrium. Depending on customer requirements, the EPCOS PTC heating elements can be manufactured in a variety of geometries and with different electrical and thermal properties.

Glossary

  • PTC: Positive Temperature Coefficient. In electroceramic components with PTC characteristics the electrical resistance increases as a function of the rising temperature, creating a self-regulating effect. These ceramic elements belong to the group of ceramic semiconductors.

Main applications

  • Heating elements for electric vehicles

Main features and benefits

  • Self-regulating

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