A UK consortium is developing new EV battery cooling technology, with the aim of minimising range anxiety for electric vehicle users.
The i-CoBat project, operating under the UK government’s Faraday Battery Challenge, aims to create an electric vehicle (EV) battery pack which is cooled through immersion using MIVOLT, a biodegradable cooling fluid developed by specialist manufacturer M&I Materials, the project’s leader. Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG), the manufacturing research arm of the University of Warwick, along with engineering consultancy Ricardo plc, are partnering with M&I to optimise the EV battery cooling technology for a longer lasting, safer battery product.
James O’Brien, Product Group Director at M&I Materials, said: “We are very proud to be working with such distinguished companies. Ricardo will bring its extensive knowledge of EV battery pack and battery management system design and thermal management to the project while WMG will lend its impressive research capabilities to address the move from research and development to commercialisation.”
Ricardo Chief Technology and Innovation Officer Neville Jackson said: “Power, performance, practicality – such as fast charging times – and price are key determinants in persuading consumers to opt for an EV rather than a liquid-fuelled vehicle when they next change their car. With current cell technologies, thermal management is a crucial enabler for improvements in these areas in order to reduce or eliminate range anxiety and promote consumer acceptance of electric cars. Ricardo is pleased to be participating in this very promising project together with M&I Materials and WMG.”
Professor David Greenwood, Professor of Advanced Propulsion Systems at WMG, said: “As we seek to extract the maximum possible energy and durability from a battery, and to replenish it as quickly as possible, thermal management becomes critical. It’s no longer just a matter of keeping the battery cool: it’s about optimising the temperature for any given operation. There are many cooling mechanisms used by different manufacturers, and this project allows us to investigate a close-coupled cooling mechanism with a biodegradable coolant.”