Thermal Management of Batteries

Thermal management of the battery modules is a critical issue for the development of Electrical Vehicles (EVs) and hybrid electrical vehicle (HEVs). The performance and aging rate of the batteries depend quite sensitively on the working conditions of the batteries, especially the cell temperature. The temperature of the batteries must be limited below a certain temperature. However, in practice this is challenging to accomplish. The ambient temperature varies in a wide range. Batteries pack contains many cells, and significant temperature non-uniformity exists
among cells.

In this work, we use both computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and experimental testing to study the thermal management of batteries systematically. The goal of our research is to strike an optimal balance between heat transfer efficiency, pump power required, and the uniformity
of temperature distribution of among battery bells, which will ultimately contribute to more efficient and robust EVs and HEVs.

The figures above and below show, respectively, a CFD simulation of the temperature distribution of a 4x8 array of battery cells and the experimental study of the batteries in a wind tunnel.