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Effective temperature distribution over battery packs to improve cell longevity
Group Members
Mohammad Bin-Nasir, Lewis Jones, Irfan Kaya, Chay king Liang, Charles Miles-Hobbs, Jeton Muliqi
Dr Ranga Dinesh Kahanda Koralage, Dr Denis Kramer
Williams Advanced Engineering
There has been strong growth in the Electric Vehicle (EV) industry due to increasing demands to minimise CO2 emissions by 2050. EVs offer a better alternative to Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicles due to their ability to operate with zero emissions at the point of use.

Limitations of current battery technology prevent EVs from competing with ICE vehicles on a wide scale. One way to get the best performance out of current batteries is to carefully manage the temperature of a cell and the temperature distribution across the pack. Batteries generate heat during operation which can significantly impact the life of the cells if not kept within the desired range of 20 to 40 °C. This project looks to design and optimise a Battery Thermal Management System (BTMS) to combat these issues. The BTMS should maintain this temperature range throughout the whole battery pack and limit the temperature difference between any two cells to 5°C. An even temperature distribution prevents hotspots arising, reducing degradation and the risk of thermal runaway.

By developing design concepts based on the direct liquid cooling method, the BTMS could deliver greater performance than the existing systems. Comprehensive thermal Finite Element Analysis (FEA) and electrochemistry modelling were completed through COMSOL Multiphysics to simulate the operation of the cells. Models were then built at a modular level to simulate the cooling flow coupling Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and heat transfer to investigate the performance of the proposed concepts. System level analysis was carried out to optimise the design configuration and choose flow paths for the coolant.
Battery pack
Vehicle schematic.