Just like cars with combustion engines, electric vehicles have aerodynamic properties which affect consumption and range. However, the special design space situations in the front-end module of these fully electric driven vehicles result in special challenges which did not permit installation of a classic Active Grille Shutter. Nevertheless the development of an air control system for electric vehicles was still on the wish list. Our HBPO Research & Development Team started looking for a solution four years ago. First ideas and feasibility studies have shown it is possible – the result is the HBPO “shutter”. This system greatly reduces the space requirements in vehicle longitudinal direction and basically works in a similar way to a blind.
Thanks to the vertical and/or horizontal direction of movement, the shutter can be installed wherever there is little space available for a conventional Active Grille Shutter solution.
The effect of the shutter system correlates to that of the conventional Active Grille Shutter, although it works in a completely different way. The flow to cooling components can be controlled by rolling a technical fabric up and down; this moves along and is wound up by two guide rails. Great demands made on such technical units, particularly in electric vehicles:
- Fluctuations in temperature, which can vary between the extremes 40 and +80°C
- Regular strain caused by opening and closing the system
- Dynamic pressure applied in the closed state.
Together with our customer we put the system through its paces and had it ready for series production by 2019. We are now able to integrate customer-specific wishes in the shutter system at any time.