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Research Papers

Experimental Investigation of the Thermal Characteristics of Li-Ion Battery for Use in Hybrid Locomotives

[+] Author and Article Information
Andrew Arendas

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Northern Illinois University,
DeKalb, IL 60115

Pradip Majumdar

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Northern Illinois University,
DeKalb, IL 60115
e-mail: pmajumdar@niu.edu

David Schroeder

Department of Technology,
Northern Illinois University,
DeKalb, IL 60115

S. Rao Kilaparti

Department of Technology,
Northern Illinois University,
DeKalb, IL 60115

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Heat Transfer Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF THERMAL SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING APPLICATIONS. Manuscript received March 11, 2013; final manuscript received January 2, 2014; published online May 2, 2014. Assoc. Editor: Bengt Sunden.

J. Thermal Sci. Eng. Appl 6(4), 041003 (May 02, 2014) (7 pages) Paper No: TSEA-13-1049; doi: 10.1115/1.4026987 History: Received March 11, 2013; Revised January 02, 2014

The demand for the development of hybrid electric locomotives is increasing due to increased demand and cost of diesel oil, uncertainty in the steady supply of oil, and increased emissions standards. Electrical energy is lost from diesel-electric locomotives in the form of heat during dynamic braking. Using a regenerative braking system can improve the overall efficiency as it can be used later to provide traction force during acceleration. The objective of this study is to evaluate experimentally battery performance considering different discharge and charge rate, and investigate the thermal management requirements and thermal runaway effect of the batteries under a variety of environmental conditions. This was done in an environmental chamber, which controls temperature and humidity. This chamber is also fitted with an external window designed to allow thermal imaging from outside the unit. The batteries were monitored with thermal sensors and a thermal imaging camera while they were run through different load scenarios. Loads were applied using a computerized battery analyzer, which allows control over discharge rates and load cycles. Results indicate high discharge rates, above 1 C, and low operating temperatures, below 20 °C, greatly diminish capacity.

Copyright © 2014 by ASME
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References

Figures

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Fig. 1

Hybrid diesel engine/battery storage system for the locomotive

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Fig. 2

Experimental test facility: (a) schematic of experimental test facility and (b) photograph of test facility

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Fig. 3

Thermocouple positions on battery surface

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Fig. 4

Profile plot of usable capacity of the LiFePO4 battery at 0.5 C versus temperature

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Fig. 5

Temperature of battery versus time for varying ambient temperatures

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Fig. 6

Battery voltage plotted as a function of time for chamber temperatures of −10.0 °C and 40.4 °C

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Fig. 7

Battery voltage plotted as a function of time for chamber temperatures of 1.5 °C, 20.7 °C, and 50.8 °C

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Fig. 8

Profile plot of usable capacity of the 10 A h LiFePO4 at 50 °C versus C-rate

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Fig. 9

Temperature of battery versus time for varying C-rate at 50 °C

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Fig. 10

Battery voltage plotted as a function of time for varying C-rates

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Fig. 11

Profile plot of usable capacity of the LiFePO4 at varying C-rate and temperature

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Fig. 12

Plot of all thermocouples on battery surface for a 1.5 C discharge at 50 °C

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Fig. 13

Thermal images of battery before and after 1.5 C discharge at 50 °C

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Fig. 14

Thermal images of battery before and after 1.5 C discharge at 30 °C with the chamber off

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Fig. 15

Temperature of battery during two 1 C discharge and charge cycles at 30 °C

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