The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) are interested in developing more efficient vehicle air conditioning (A/C) systems to reduce fuel consumption in advanced vehicle designs. Vehicle A/C systems utilizing electrically-driven compressors are one possible system design approach to increasing A/C system performance over various drive cycle conditions. NREL’s transient A/C system model was used to perform multivariable design optimization of electrically-driven compressor A/C systems, in which five to seven system design variables were simultaneously optimized to maximize A/C system performance. Design optimization results demonstrate that significant improvements in system COP are possible, particularly system COP > 3, in a properly optimized system design with dynamically-controlled operation. System optimization analyses investigated dynamic A/C system design strategies employing dual-compressor-speeds in electrically-driven systems to evaluate their effects on system performance. A system optimization methodology was developed which can systematically quantify impacts on A/C system design and performance resulting from varying degrees of design influence being given to widely different design objectives. The technique is based upon formulating optimization objective functions from linear combinations of critical design performance parameters that characterize independent design goals. It was demonstrated here by giving varying degrees of design influence to maximizing system COP and maximizing evaporator cooling capacity over SC03 and US06 drive cycles.

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T. Hendricks