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DENSO Develops New Components for Hybrids; Used in Rx 400h and Highlander

DENSO Corporation has developed four new components for hybrid vehicles: a hybrid control computer; a new battery-monitoring unit; a DC-DC converter, and an electric compressor for air conditioning systems. All are smaller and lighter than conventional components, but meet the increasing needs of the growing number of larger hybrid vehicles.

Toyota uses the new Denso elements in its Lexus Rx400h (Harrier in Japan) and Toyota Highlander Hybrid (Kluger in Japan).

Hybrid Control Computer. The hybrid control computer, developed jointly with Toyota Motor Corporation, integrates such control functions as hybrid system control, engine control, and battery control into one unit. The hybrid control computer enables a significant size reduction of the control units.

Battery-Monitoring Unit. The new battery-monitoring unit takes over the tasks of monitoring the battery’s voltage, current and temperature. The battery-monitoring unit was designed separately from the hybrid control computer, because the battery-monitoring unit needs to be installed close to the main battery

DC-DC Converter. DENSO’s newly developed DC-DC converter is approximately 10% smaller than a conventional DC-DC converter, but delivers 20% more output—120 amperes from 100 amperes—allowing it to respond to the power needs of larger vehicles. DENSO adopted a new circuit control technology to reduce energy loss in the DC-DC converter,allowing it to size the unit. To handle the increased output current, DENSO improved the converter’s power elements by changing the mounting method from soldering to welding. Customized integrated circuits reduce the area of the converter’s circuit board by approximately 40%, contributing to the 10% converter size reduction.

Electric Compressor. The electric compressor, jointly developed with Toyota Industries Corporation, is the first to incorporate an inverter that drives the built-in motor. This structure reduces the compressor size by approximately 60% compared with a conventional electric compressor and inverter (when they are assumed to provide the same output). DENSO miniaturized the inverter by using simplified circuits and a higher-density mounting with three-dimensional wirings.

It is difficult to integrate the conventional compressor and inverter, because the conventional inverter is cooled by the engine’s coolant system. To solve this problem, DENSO developed a new cooling method using air conditioning refrigerant in the compressor, allowing the integration of the electric compressor and the inverter. DENSO’s segment conductor wiring method, developed for alternators in 2000, reduced the size of the built-in motor.

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DENSO Develops New Components for Hybrids; Used in Rx 400h and Highlander

DENSO Corporation has developed four new components for hybrid vehicles: a hybrid control computer; a new battery-monitoring unit; a DC-DC converter, and an electric compressor for air conditioning systems. All are smaller and lighter than conventional components, but meet the increasing needs of the growing number of larger hybrid vehicles.

Toyota uses the new Denso elements in its Lexus Rx400h (Harrier in Japan) and Toyota Highlander Hybrid (Kluger in Japan).

Hybrid Control Computer. The hybrid control computer, developed jointly with Toyota Motor Corporation, integrates such control functions as hybrid system control, engine control, and battery control into one unit. The hybrid control computer enables a significant size reduction of the control units.

Battery-Monitoring Unit. The new battery-monitoring unit takes over the tasks of monitoring the battery’s voltage, current and temperature. The battery-monitoring unit was designed separately from the hybrid control computer, because the battery-monitoring unit needs to be installed close to the main battery

DC-DC Converter. DENSO’s newly developed DC-DC converter is approximately 10% smaller than a conventional DC-DC converter, but delivers 20% more output—120 amperes from 100 amperes—allowing it to respond to the power needs of larger vehicles.  DENSO adopted a new circuit control technology to reduce energy loss in the DC-DC converter,allowing it to size the unit. To handle the increased output current, DENSO improved the converter’s power elements by changing the mounting method from soldering to welding. Customized integrated circuits reduce the area of the converter’s circuit board by approximately 40%, contributing to the 10% converter size reduction.

Electric Compressor. The electric compressor, jointly developed with Toyota Industries Corporation, is the first to incorporate an inverter that drives the built-in motor. This structure reduces the compressor size by approximately 60% compared with a conventional electric compressor and inverter (when they are assumed to provide the same output). DENSO miniaturized the inverter by using simplified circuits and a higher-density mounting with three-dimensional wirings.

It is difficult to integrate the conventional compressor and inverter, because the conventional inverter is cooled by the engine’s coolant system. To solve this problem, DENSO developed a new cooling method using air conditioning refrigerant in the compressor, allowing the integration of the electric compressor and the inverter. DENSO’s segment conductor wiring method, developed for alternators in 2000, reduced the size of the built-in motor.

Wow, that answers that question.

Now to see how efficient the air conditioner cools with this new compressor?

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Wow, that answers that question.

Now to see how efficient the air conditioner cools with this new compressor?

I used it yesterday and I can say without reservation that it cools very well!

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Does anyone know if the RX400 compressor is engine driven or electric driven?

The air conditioner still seems to run while the gas engine is shut down.

My BMW 330 seems to cool a lot faster, but a large part of that is because it's smaller inside. I do wish the Lexus A/C fan speed could adjust itself automatically though. In my BMW when the A/C is set to Auto and I get into the car that has been sitting out in the sun for a while, the fan automatically goes to the highest setting and it switches to recirculate for fastest cooling. Then after it's cooled to the temperature I set, the fan automatically backs down and the vents open. In the hot Lexus when I press Auto, the A/C turns on and maybe it adjusts the vents (couldn't tell) but the fan speed stayed at what I set it at previously (medium.) I had to manually set the fan speed to max.

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Does anyone know if the RX400 compressor is engine driven or electric driven?

The air conditioner still seems to run while the gas engine is shut down.

My BMW 330 seems to cool a lot faster, but a large part of that is because it's smaller inside. I do wish the Lexus A/C fan speed could adjust itself automatically though. In my BMW when the A/C is set to Auto and I get into the car that has been sitting out in the sun for a while, the fan automatically goes to the highest setting and it switches to recirculate for fastest cooling. Then after it's cooled to the temperature I set, the fan automatically backs down and the vents open. In the hot Lexus when I press Auto, the A/C turns on and maybe it adjusts the vents (couldn't tell) but the fan speed stayed at what I set it at previously (medium.) I had to manually set the fan speed to max.

In my RX it seems like the auto works just fine and backs itself off and switches to recirculate and back on its own as necessary.

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Does anyone know if the RX400 compressor is engine driven or electric driven?

The air conditioner still seems to run while the gas engine is shut down.

My BMW 330 seems to cool a lot faster, but a large part of that is because it's smaller inside. I do wish the Lexus A/C fan speed could adjust itself automatically though. In my BMW when the A/C is set to Auto and I get into the car that has been sitting out in the sun for a while, the fan automatically goes to the highest setting and it switches to recirculate for fastest cooling. Then after it's cooled to the temperature I set, the fan automatically backs down and the vents open. In the hot Lexus when I press Auto, the A/C turns on and maybe it adjusts the vents (couldn't tell) but the fan speed stayed at what I set it at previously (medium.) I had to manually set the fan speed to max.

In my RX it seems like the auto works just fine and backs itself off and switches to recirculate and back on its own as necessary.

I looked it up in the 400h's A/C manual (which is actually inside the 400h Nav system manual not in the super thick regular manual) and it does say in there that the fan speed should also change automatically. I guess the temperature threshold at which rapid cooling mode kicks in is higher or the algorithm is slightly different than in my BMW.

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  • 3 months later...
Wow, that answers that question.

Now to see how efficient the air conditioner cools with this new compressor?

I used it yesterday and I can say without reservation that it cools very well!

My AC is on all the time at this point. We had a heat wave in Vegas last week with temps in 117s (my gauge actually read 120 for those days). No problems keeping cool in that heat. Awesome system. Fan adjust automatically to your settings. Within two minutes, I have to turn up the temp to not freeze.

4000 miles on odometer

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does the 400h have that special filter that lexus shows in their commercial ( where the car is in the building full of pollen and the guy with allergies is fine inside the car)?

The book desribes the filter behind the glove compartment. Should be the same as the RX330

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