As the electric vehicle revolution heats up, why we must consider how to cool things down
The future is electric - for drivers anyway. With more countries announcing their intention to ban sales of petrol and diesel vehicles within the next 25 years, electric cars look set to take over the roads. But this clean solution comes with its own set of issues.
All electric cars are battery powered, and it is the batteries themselves which give rise to many of the problems. Most run lithium ion battery packs and their performance can be negatively affected by one crucial thing in particular - temperature. If the cells of the battery become too hot or too cold, they can be permanently damaged and degrade much faster than expected. The result is a compromised or ultimately useless battery that will, in current and most projected markets, cost thousands to replace.
Reliable use of electric cars in environments where temperatures reach extremes could be made near impossible without a way to regulate battery temperature. Where it’s cold, charging is an issue; lithium ion batteries can’t be fast charged when they are less than 5 degrees C and cannot be charged at all at below 0 degrees C. Where it’s hot, the cells will degrade quickly if their temperature exceeds 45 degrees C.
Now, automotive cleantech firm AVID Technology is urging others to recognise the need to address the issue of battery temperature control in electric vehicles and has produced a white paper analysing current research findings in an attempt to identify the best method.
Ryan Maughan, managing director of AVID Technology Group Ltd, explains:
“Advanced, effective techniques for controlling battery temperature are essential if electric vehicles are ever to match the reliability, durability and performance of their petrol and diesel counterparts in the way that consumers will demand.
“As the global market for these vehicles looks set to move up a gear we really need to apply ourselves to resolving this problem. Researchers have highlighted that we must be concerned not only with retaining ideal temperatures but with the method chosen to produce the cooling, as this affects the lifetime performance of the cells. The best method, according to studies, is still uncommon in the car industry, and, however complex it may be to introduce, this needs to change.”
AVID’s core expertise is the design of power electronics and motors used in electric and hybrid vehicle powertrain systems, such as pumps, fans and more recently propulsion. They have already begun exploring how their products can be best utilised to achieve the ideal temperature management system for electric car batteries.
“We believe it is important to start looking at the details of such studies and how this should influence design sooner rather than later. Our white paper summarises leading research findings on the best methods of temperature control and examines current cooling system design and how these can - and must - be improved.”
A market leader in the design and manufacture of electrified powertrain systems for the electric and hybrid vehicle industry, AVID has recently invested in a state-of-the-art electronics surface mount (SMT) manufacturing facility and new test equipment, set to increase production of automotive electronics and powertrain technology, and enable the company to diversify into the robotics and power generation industries.
To read the new white paper on the most efficient method of battery cooling visit: http://avidtp.com/what-is-the-best-cooling-system-for-electric-vehicle-battery-packs/.
Email copies can be obtained by request from firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on AVID go to: http://avidtp.com/.