Scroll to Content
Design of an air-cooled motorbike battery pack with internal fans and moving slats to maintain optimal cell temperature
Group Members
Joseph Deevoy, Robert Mackie, Charles Damien Manuelpillai, Taran Akshay Panchal, Anup Naresh Patel, Krishna Kulathu Venkatramani
Dr Richard Wills, Dr Carlos Ponce De Leon Albarran
The development of electric vehicles and their associated charging infrastructure have increased as part of the drive to reduce carbon emissions in the face of climate change, with a national target to reduce carbon emissions by 80% by 2050. Electrification provides zero emissions at the point of use and can provide benefits such as constant power delivery across a range of speeds without complex gearing.

Within this project, an air-cooled battery pack using 18650 Lithium-ion cells has been manufactured to retro-fit onto a Suzuki DR-50 frame, powering a Lynch LEM-200-D95B motor. The 1.24 kWh pack, composed of 2 side mounted modules measuring 109x196x278mm each, can provide a power output of 5 kW at 72 volts when discharging at 8 A cell level. Specifically, thermal aspects of the design were considered, with the aim of maintaining an optimal temperature for cell performance and longevity. A unique set of dynamic slats close when cell temperatures are low, for example at start-up on cold days allowing faster cell warming, and a bank of fans activate when cell temperatures become too high, for example when stopped at traffic lights.

Thermal modelling was conducted using the COMSOL Multiphysics software, influencing the design alongside what was feasible from a control system standpoint and what would work in the given space. When discharging at 8 A at cell level, the designed battery pack has sufficient cooling to operate at a maximum temperature of 48.2 degrees Celsius, which is lower than the temperature limit for automotive Lithium-ion batteries of 60 degrees Celsius.
Single module.