Increasing electrification of traditionally mechanically-driven components in the automotive industry has been visible in many segments of the vehicle subsystems, such as lubrication circuits and cooling circuits. Some of the components include electric oil pumps, electric water pumps, electric coolant valves, etc. As the parts evolve from purely mechanical components to a combination of mechanical and electronic hardware, the methods used to validate the components have also evolved.
To test these components, the equipment needs to be able to simulate both environmental (air) temperature and humidity, as well as the fluid temperature. In pressurized coolant circuits, temperatures as high as +135°C are required, whereas in lubrication systems oil temperatures as high as +150°C need to be achieved. On the low end, temperatures as low as -40°C are required for both. Rates of change vary depending on the required tests, but can be anywhere between 1-15°C/min average.
Many of the test standards used today for validating the durability of the electrified automotive components originated from the electronics industry. In the electronics industry, the traditional approach has been the use of thermal chambers to create the desired ambient conditions for temperature and humidity. To a large extent, the industry so far has adopted the use of this equipment as well and tried to leverage its performance capabilities in the standard form.