Immersion Cooled Battery Pack Concept For EVs To Be Put To The Test

Hopefully, those are not the fluids that will require periodical changes.

M&I Materials, WMG and Ricardo announced a joint research project i-CoBat to develop a next-generation battery cooling system, which utilizes dielectric fluid.

Instead of the more common air cooling or cold plate cooling using water/ethylene glycol or a refrigerant, the idea is to immerse all the cells inside the pack in a dielectric fluid with excellent thermal conductivity.

Dielectric fluids have been used in various applications in electrical engineering for years, but we didn’t hear about it in EVs until now. EVs sometimes struggles with displacing battery heat during high power charging or discharging, so this might be a solution.

“As the automotive industry seeks to electrify its product ranges, the thermal management of high capacity batteries used for electric vehicles (EVs) is proving a significant challenge. The performance and efficiency of battery cells can deteriorate – and their ageing can be accelerated – if operating temperatures exceed the upper or lower limits of a comparatively narrow range. In extreme cases, exceeding upper operating limits can risk thermal runaway of cells, leading to catastrophic failure and potentially, fire.”

The expected outcome is to keep the cell temperature within the optimum range with a method that’s both easier/cheaper and thus increase available power output/charging power and extend cell longevity.

“Led by M&I Materials, the i-CoBat projectis part of the government’s Faraday Battery Challenge and will test an immersion cooled battery pack concept using M&I Materials’ biodegradable dielectric cooling fluid, MIVOLT. M&I Materials have been working in advanced materials and electrical insulation for over 100 years, with a core specialism in dielectric fluids for more than 40. The innovation promises improved power output and cell longevity, faster charging rates and lower costs, significantly addressing the key consumer issue of range anxiety.”

Of course, all new concepts bring also some potential drawbacks like servicing the pack at a later point in the future. As an example, replacing a particular faulty module will require one deal with the fluid.

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