A Comparative Study on Battery Thermal Management Using Phase Change Material (PCM)

The present study aims at battery thermal management of Electric Vehicles (EV). Li-ion battery used in EVs has an optimum operating range of 25 °C to 60 °C beyond which battery doesn't perform efficiently. Thus thermal management of EV is catching importance in the industry.

There are two ways in which Thermal management of EV's can be done. First is from inside by controlling the dimensions of Electrode and reducing the resistance. This helps in reducing the Power dissipation and hence preventing the Electrolyte explosion which can result in overall battery damage. Second is from outside by employing various methods (i) by Air (ii) by liquid (iii) by PCM which is called the battery thermal management of the vehicle System.

The first two methods of cooling are active cooling methods and involve lot of auxiliary parts which calls for balancing of the system. Moreover, active cooling method also lowers the vehicle's efficiency. The heat generation is closely dependent upon the discharge rates and the ambient condition.

Therefore, current study is focussed on passive methods of cooling through the use of PCM (Capric acid) which has been placed around the periphery in the battery pack. Different thickness of PCM layer 3 mm, 7 mm, 9 mm and 12 mm have been taken. Two ambient conditions of 294 K and desert condition (323 K) has been explored in this study and the effect of Capric acid as a PCM has been tested and compared with the traditionally used paraffins. PCM layer of 3 mm thickness proves to be optimum and lowered the maximum temperature in the battery to 305 K.

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