Image depicts illustrative vents and a blending surface of the thermal system in the dash of a vehicle, according to one or more aspects of the present application/Tesla patent
Tesla has published the patent: “Thermal system for a vehicle” to improve their HVAC system. Among other things, the invention describes a method of changing the shape of air vents, which may even affect vehicle interior design.
Tesla is constantly striving to improve its vehicles in order to make their use as comfortable as possible for owners. The HVAC system of its vehicles is one of the key components for this. The air supply to the interior of its cars is usually done through one or more vents. For example, such air vents may be located on the dashboard, and sometimes also in the second row of seats for other passengers. The vents are usually controlled to direct the flow of air entering the cabin. The vents are connected to the vehicle's heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system so that hotter, colder, and/or dehumidified air can be supplied as desired.
Tesla intends to improve this process, as, on January 27, 2022, it filed a patent for a “Thermal system for a vehicle,” which was published on August 4, 2022. In it, the company described some of the disadvantages of thin air vents, which may also hint that Tesla intends to change the air vents in the interior of its cars, which could even affect current design.
The patent states that some air supply systems allow vents with reduced visibility by changing to a thin, slotted outlet with aerodynamically positioned air jets to reduce visible vanes and flaps. However, these aerodynamic designs have fundamental control and stability limitations. Additionally, the vent design may require control of certain areas around the outlets which would limit the proximity of the outlets to other objects (for example displays) that are not aerodynamic parts of the air supply system.
The system described in the patent is also more flexible for the overall size of the ventilation system, allowing vents and outlets to be built into other parts of the vehicle, including door handles, armrests, seats and seatbacks to ventilate various vehicle occupants. In addition, the ventilation structure is designed such that it can include other objects or be located next to other objects in the vehicle.
In fact, the patent describes an air supply system that integrates vents with other potentially larger objects, such as a display, in a way that reduces the visibility of the vents and increases component integration, without compromising the functionality of the vent. The visibility of the vents is reduced by placing the vents at an extreme angle to typical sight lines, thereby reducing their apparent size.
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About the Author
Eva Fox joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover breaking news as an automotive journalist. The main topics that she covers are clean energy and electric vehicles. As a journalist, Eva is specialized in Tesla and topics related to the work and development of the company.