Experimental and Modeling Study of the Thermal Management of Li-ion Battery Packs

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Virginia Tech


This work reports the experimental and numerical study of the thermal management of Li-ion battery packs under the context of electric vehicle (EV) or hybrid EV (HEV) applications. Li-ion batteries have been extensively demonstrated as an important power source for EVs or HEVs. However, thermal management is a critical challenge for their widespread deployment, due to their highly dynamic operation and the wide range of environments under which they operate. To address these challenges, this work developed several experimental platforms to study adaptive thermal management strategies. Parallel to the experimental effort, multi-disciplinary models integrating heat transfer, fluid mechanics, and electro-thermal dynamics have been developed and validated, including detailed CFD models and lumped parameter models. The major contributions are twofold. First, this work developed actively controlled strategies and experimentally demonstrated their effectiveness on a practical sized battery pack and dynamic thermal loads. The results show that these strategies effectively reduced both the parasitic energy consumption and the temperature non-uniformity while maintaining the maximum temperature rise in the pack. Second, this work established a new two dimensional lumped parameter thermal model to overcome the limitations of existing thermal models and extend their applicable range. This new model provides accurate surface and core temperatures simulations comparable to detailed CFD models with a fraction of the computational cost.



Thermal management, Li-ion battery pack, actively controlled cooling, lumped parameter thermal model, wind tunnel test