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Research Papers

Design and Simulation of Passive Thermal Management System for Lithium-Ion Battery Packs on an Unmanned Ground Vehicle

[+] Author and Article Information
Kevin K. Parsons

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Cal Poly,
San Luis Obispo, CA 93407
e-mail: kevinkparsons@gmail.com

Thomas J. Mackin

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Cal Poly,
San Luis Obispo, CA 93407
e-mail: mackin.tom@gmail.com

Contributed by the Heat Transfer Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF THERMAL SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING APPLICATIONS. Manuscript received April 25, 2016; final manuscript received August 3, 2016; published online November 2, 2016. Assoc. Editor: Hongbin Ma.

J. Thermal Sci. Eng. Appl 9(1), 011012 (Nov 02, 2016) (9 pages) Paper No: TSEA-16-1111; doi: 10.1115/1.4034904 History: Received April 25, 2016; Revised August 03, 2016

The transient thermal response of a 15-cell, 48 V, lithium-ion battery pack for an unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) was simulated using ANSYS fluent. Heat generation rates and specific heat capacity of a single cell were experimentally measured and used as input to the thermal model. A heat generation load was applied to each battery, and natural convection film boundary conditions were applied to the exterior of the enclosure. The buoyancy-driven natural convection inside the enclosure was modeled along with the radiation heat transfer between internal components. The maximum temperature of the batteries reached 65.6 °C after 630 s of usage at a simulated peak power draw of 3600 W or roughly 85 A. This exceeds the manufacturer's maximum recommended operating temperature of 60 °C. We present a redesign of the pack that incorporates a passive thermal management system consisting of a composite expanded graphite (EG) matrix infiltrated with a phase-changing paraffin wax. The redesigned battery pack was similarly modeled, showing a decrease in the maximum temperature to 50.3 °C after 630 s at the same power draw. The proposed passive thermal management system kept the batteries within their recommended operating temperature range.

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References

Figures

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Fig. 1

Dimensioned top section view of battery pack in millimeters (inches)

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Fig. 2

Dimensioned front section view of battery pack in millimeters (inches)

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Fig. 3

Diagram of experimental setup to measure battery heat capacity and heat generation rates

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Fig. 4

First run of copper cylinder cooling to characterize insulation

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Fig. 5

Battery voltage during constant power discharges and VOC, open-circuit voltage approximation

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Fig. 6

Battery current during constant power discharges

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Fig. 7

Heat generation rates (W) for all the constant power discharge runs

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Fig. 8

Entropy coefficient estimated from heat generation rates and battery discharge characteristics

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Fig. 9

Comparison of measured and predicted heat generation rates (W)

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Fig. 10

Infrared camera image of the heated battery showing temperature (°C)

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Fig. 11

View of battery temperatures (°C) after 630 s at 5 P discharge rate

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Fig. 12

Section view of temperature (°C) contours at vertical middle of battery pack after 630 s at 5 P discharge rate

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Fig. 13

Vertical plane of velocity vectors showing temperature (°C) for air in the enclosure after 630 s at 5 P

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Fig. 14

Temperature (°C) evolution along the horizontal axis through the center of the back row of batteries with and without PCM/EG

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Fig. 15

Battery surface temperature (°C) comparison between model and experiment

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Fig. 16

Maximum temperature (°C) of the batteries in the pack over time

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Fig. 17

Section view of temperature (°C) contours at vertical middle of battery pack after 630 s at 5P rate with the PCM/EG

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