Research Papers

Numerical Modeling of Submodule Heat Transfer With Phase Change Material for Thermal Management of Electric Vehicle Battery Packs

[+] Author and Article Information
N. Javani

Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science,
University of Ontario Institute of Technology,
2000 Simcoe St. North,
Oshawa, ON L1H 7K4, Canada
e-mail: Nader.Javani@uoit.ca

I. Dincer

Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science,
University of Ontario Institute of Technology,
2000 Simcoe St. North,
Oshawa, ON L1H 7K4, Canada
e-mail: Ibrahim.Dincer@uoit.ca

G. F. Naterer

Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science,
Memorial University of Newfoundland,
240 Prince Phillip Drive,
St. John’s, NL A1B 3X5, Canada
e-mail: gnaterer@mun.ca

Contributed by the Heat Transfer Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF THERMAL SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING APPLICATIONS. Manuscript received November 13, 2013; final manuscript received October 12, 2014; published online April 15, 2015. Assoc. Editor: Mehmet Arik.

J. Thermal Sci. Eng. Appl 7(3), 031005 (Sep 01, 2015) (10 pages) Paper No: TSEA-13-1189; doi: 10.1115/1.4029053 History: Received November 13, 2013; Revised October 12, 2014; Online April 15, 2015

In this paper, passive thermal management of an electric vehicle (EV) battery pack with phase change material (PCM) is studied numerically. When the temperature in the cells increases, and consequently in the submodule also, the heat is absorbed through melting of the cooling jacket which surrounds the cells. This, in turn, creates cooling effects in the cell and the battery pack. A finite volume based numerical model is used for the numerical simulations. The effects of different operating conditions are compared for the submodule with and without the PCM. The present results show that a more uniform temperature distribution is obtained when the PCM is employed which is in agreement with past literature and experimental data. The results also imply that the effect of PCM on cell temperature is more pronounced when the cooling system operates under transient conditions. The required time to reach the quasi-steady state temperature is less than 3 h, and it strongly depends on the heat generation rate in the cell. The maximum temperature of the system decreases from 310.9 K to 303.1 K by employing the PCM and the difference between the maximum and minimum temperatures in the submodule decreases in this way. The temperature differences are 0.17 K, 0.68 K, 5.80 K, and 13.33 K for volumetric heat generation rates of 6.885, 22.8, 63.97, and 200 kW/m3, respectively.

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Fig. 1

Li-ion cell, foam, and cooling plate configuration in submodule with the monitoring line location on the right

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Fig. 2

Chebyshev polynomial to interpolate specific heat: (a) curve fitting and (b) superposition method

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Fig. 3

(a) Temperature contours in submodule without PCM and (b) more uniform temperature distribution using the PCM around the submodule

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Fig. 4

Temperature distribution across cell 2 height

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Fig. 5

Comparison of temperature distribution along submodule thickness

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Fig. 15

Temperature increases in midcell for different heat generation rates (W/m3)

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Fig. 14

Temperature along submodule thickness for different volumetric heat generation rates

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Fig. 13

Quasi-steady state temperature dependence of submodule for heat generation of 22,800 W/m3

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Fig. 12

Transient melting behavior of PCM around submodule

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Fig. 11

Time-dependent temperature in midcell

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Fig. 10

The effect of PCM in the temperature of mid cell in submodule

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Fig. 9

Transient response of submodule in different time steps

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Fig. 8

Temperature distribution along the critical height in submodule with and without PCM

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Fig. 7

Temperature distribution along the vertical rake in cell 2 with the PCM

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Fig. 6

Temperature contours in submodule surrounded with the PCM

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Fig. 16

Submodule response for the higher heat generation rate in battery pack (200 kW/m3)



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