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 eMobility Means Having Temperatures Under Control

Thermal management for eMobility

Home Media Stories eMobility Means Having Temperatures Under Control

eMobility Means Having Temperatures Under Control

If and when only cars and light commercial vehicles with electric drives are allowed to be registered in Norway in the very near future, Patrick Handritschk will be rubbing his hands. Not because he's thinking about the cold Scandinavian winters. eMobility is advancing – and with it technological development. And that is entirely to his liking. Patrick is a team leader in our Application Engineering department in the area of thermal management for electric mobility, among others. As application engineers, he and his team ensure that batteries and electric motors perform as efficiently and safely as possible. And they do that when the temperatures are just right. One of his tasks is to ensure that all customer requirements are implemented in the development and production of cooling line systems for electric vehicles, and that our innovative strength and engineering expertise are incorporated in the process. We talked to him about his work.

5 Questions for Our Expert Patrick Handritschk

Patrick Handritschk

Patrick Handritschk is an application engineer and thermal management for e-cars is just his thing.

Question 1

When did you join Continental and how did you end up there?

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I am now 29 and have spent my entire working life at Continental. After graduating from school, I opted for a dual study program in 2012, i.e. a university education and direct entry into a company at the same time. That's how I ended up in application engineering as an industrial engineering student, successfully completed my master's degree, and am now a team leader in application engineering.

 

Question 2

What do you like about your job?

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eMobility means, among other things, keeping temperatures under control: Our team combines the requirements of our customers with our production expertise and innovative strength. In the case of cooling lines, for example, this begins with us working with the customers as well as our construction engineers to design the individual components of a cooling circuit like a puzzle. We define the requirements for the connection technology, the material to be used and the temperature range in which individual components must function in series production. Incidentally, we do this together with teams from development who contribute new materials or production technologies. So, on the one hand, we have our customer specifications and, on the other hand, our production planning, which wants to manufacture the product as economically and resource-efficiently as possible. We usually start two years before the start of series production, and the closer we get to the start of production, the further we pull back and the series production team takes over. Overall, the job is characterized by a lot of communication.

 

Question 3

What makes working in the field of eMobility so exciting for you personally?

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In this area, a lot is still new, and that's precisely why you can learn something every day. This is in stark contrast to the internal combustion engine, where the general conditions have hardly changed in the past 25 years. There was little change, many things were similar, and often only minimal adjustments were needed from one vehicle or engine generation to the next. eMobility has overturned a lot of that. Completely different challenges, new materials, different products, new design. The learning curves for everyone involved, whether on the customer side or ours, were huge. All of this has also led to customer relationships becoming much more complex. In the past, there was only one contact person, but today we have to deal with a wide variety of disciplines on both the customer and supplier sides. This also places new demands on our project management. And that's what excites me about my job: bringing people together, communicating in the project team, exchanging ideas with each other is a big part of it. The actual implementation is not so difficult if everything has been discussed and planned well beforehand. And it makes no difference to me whether the customer is a large OEM or a small start-up. It's all about good human contacts, professional discussions and cooperation at eye level.

 

Question 4

How do you imagine mobility in 5, 10 or 50 years?

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Hopefully, we will manage to switch to sustainable mobility. For me, it's important that we see the total amount of energy that is consumed for mobility. Large, heavy cars with only one occupant are simply not sustainable – regardless of the drive system. So there are two starting points: First, we need to develop new mobility concepts to get more people moving with fewer cars or other modes of transportation. And second, we need to reduce the total amount of energy consumed. Here, an electric vehicle already has clear advantages over internal combustion engines – also because we manage thermal energy well through our cycles. Consequently, however, we also have to think about how the drive energy for this vehicle is generated, stored and transported. So for me, the electric car is just the first important building block. In ten years, it will hopefully be normal for us to drive electric cars and produce and store our own electricity at home. We will still have our own cars, especially in the countryside. In the cities, we clearly need to move to other mobility concepts. And I maintain that in the near future, we will have a social debate about whether it makes sense to own a car in the city, because the possible alternatives there are more attractive.

 

Question 5

What contribution does Continental make to the transformation of mobility in your view?

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To be honest, I'm just one piece of the puzzle in the overall picture of our Group, and it's not easy to keep track of everything. The speed at which mobility is changing is far too great for anyone – whether OEM, supplier or service provider – to manage alone. Continental is among the top 5 automotive suppliers and there is actually no component in the vehicle that we do not manufacture. In other words, we are relevant to the system. If we all work together, we will succeed in this transformation – together with our customers and in healthy competition with other market players.

 

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