UK institutions research new battery cooling technology to reduce the risk of catching fire

- Aug 19, 2019-

According to the report of foreign medias, M&I Materials, the University of Warwick Manufacturing Engineering (WMG) and Ricardo Consulting, jointly launched the i-CoBat project to develop and demonstrate new electric vehicle battery cooling technology using M&I Materials' degradable medium, Coolant MIVOLT, to test the concept of immersion cooling battery packs.

 As the automotive industry transforms to electrification, high-capacity batteries used in electric vehicles face significant challenges in thermal management. The operating temperature range of the battery is narrow, once the temperature exeeds the limit, performance of battery will deteriorate ,efficiency of it will decrease, and accelerates aging. In extreme cases, temperature exceeds the upper operating limit standard may cause the battery to run out of control and cause catastrophic failure, and may cause a fire.

When charging quickly, the battery generates heat three times as normal driving and charging. Currently, electric vehicle battery packs typically use wind cooling, or use water/glycol for cold plate cooling or refrigerant. These thermal management systems will limit the charging speed and times of quick charge. One way to increase mileage is to increase the size of battery pack,but it will increase the cost significantly.

The i-CoBat project, led by M&I Materials, is part of the UK government's Faraday Battery Challenge, which encourages the development of the latest electric vehicle battery technology. In the i-CoBat project, the researchers used M&I Materials' degradable media coolant MIVOLT, which chemically acts as a media coolant to remove heat directly from the cell surface. This is because the MIVOLT medium liquid is not electrically conductive and can be in direct contact with the battery pack. Liquid immersion cooling with MIVOLT allows heat transfer from the heat source without the need for a secondary indirect cooling system, providing a simpler thermal management solution.

This innovation is expected to improve power output and battery life, speed up charging, while reducing costs, effectively solving mileage anxiety problems. David Greenwood, professor of advanced drive systems at the University of Warwick's School of Manufacturing Engineering, said: "This is not just about keeping the battery cool, but also optimizing the operating temperature."