Sohail H. Zaidi
Department of Mechanical Engineering, IntelliScience Research Labs, San Jose State University, San Jose, CA 95192, USA
Department of Mechanical Engineering, San Jose State University, San Jose
Department of Mechanical Engineering, San Jose State University, 1 Washington Square, San Jose, CA 95192, USA
Thermal management of electrical vehicle batteries is required as they are susceptible to the thermal runaway conditions. Active cooling techniques require power and may be vulnerable to any malfunctioning in the system. Passive cooling techniques are preferred. In this project, a phase change material (PCM) is used to absorb the instant high-temperature spikes that may appear in electric vehicle batteries. Due to poor thermal conductivity of PCM, heat pipes (HP) are used to transfer heat from the source into PCM. A mimic battery was designed to simulate a quarter model of the EV battery. PCM had a phase transition temperature of about 50 Centigrade. Flat heat pipes were installed inside the PCM testing box. The test was conducted in three trials: without using any cooling medium, with PCM, and with PCM-HP. K-type thermocouples were used to obtain the temperature data at various locations inside the test box. An Agilent Technologies data acquisition system was used to acquire and process the temperature data. The temperature reduction obtained with the PCM-HP configuration was higher by 13°C to 3°C (or 31.21% to 7.70%) in comparison with PCM configuration. From the temperature distribution plot, it was observed that the HPs helped in drawing the heat from mimic battery and spreading it through the PCM.