Thermal Management of an Electrical Vehicle Battery Packing Using 1D and 3D CFD

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Posted: 10/29/2013

Introduction

With the increased concerns over the future use of fossil fuels especially in automobiles, the rise of popular sentiment towards electric and hybrid electrical vehicles (EV) is no surprise. But there is still a major area of design challenge—batteries. As the primary means for storing the energy used for electrical vehicles, the battery of choice needs to be extremely efficient yet as lightweight as possible to allow for reasonable driving distance on a single charge. Although several factors affect the efficiency of these batteries, one of the most important is temperature.

Batteries usually have a low margin for the temperatures in which they work best. If a battery is exposed to excess heat for too long, it will likely fail; on the other hand, when the battery is too cold, it is unable to operate efficiently. This poses two design challenges that are essential to overcome when looking at electrical vehicle batteries. First, the cooling pack of the battery must be designed in a way that allows excess heat to be removed quickly and efficiently from the battery cells. And second, the thermal control system for the battery must be able to warm the battery to an efficient temperature level in a reasonable amount of time for good performance. With the lack of an internal combustion engine in electrical vehicles, this becomes crucial in the parts of North America, Europe, and Asia where the temperature can reach well below freezing in winter.

With the ever shortening time constraints on auto manufacturers today, how can these system go through the numerous time consuming design iterations necessary for a best-in-class, reliable design?

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By:
Posted: 10/29/2013