Research Papers

Conjugate Heat Transfer Analysis of Thermal Management of a Li-Ion Battery Pack

[+] Author and Article Information
Divya Chalise, Krishna Shah

Mechanical and Aerospace
Engineering Department,
University of Texas at Arlington,
Arlington, TX 76019

Ravi Prasher

Energy Storage and Distributed
Resources Division,
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory,
Berkeley, CA 94720
Department of Mechanical Engineering,
University of California, Berkeley,
Berkeley, CA 94720

Ankur Jain

Mechanical and Aerospace
Engineering Department,
University of Texas at Arlington,
500 W First Street, Room 211,
Arlington, TX 76019
e-mail: jaina@uta.edu

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received May 15, 2017; final manuscript received September 27, 2017; published online November 28, 2017. Assoc. Editor: George Nelson.

J. Electrochem. En. Conv. Stor. 15(1), 011008 (Nov 28, 2017) (8 pages) Paper No: JEECS-17-1051; doi: 10.1115/1.4038258 History: Received May 15, 2017; Revised September 27, 2017

Thermal management of Li-ion battery packs is a critical technological challenge that directly impacts safety and performance. Removal of heat generated in individual Li-ion cells into the ambient is a considerably complicated problem involving multiple heat transfer modes. This paper develops an iterative analytical technique to model conjugate heat transfer in coolant-based thermal management of a Li-ion battery pack. Solutions for the governing energy conservation equations for thermal conduction and convection are derived and coupled with each other in an iterative fashion to determine the final temperature distribution. The analytical model is used to investigate the dependence of the temperature field on various geometrical and material parameters. This work shows that the coolant flowrate required for effective cooling can be reduced significantly by improving the thermal conductivity of individual Li-ion cells. Further, this work helps understand key thermal–electrochemical trade-offs in the design of thermal management for Li-ion battery packs, such as the trade-off between temperature rise and energy storage density in the battery pack.

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Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

Definitions of the individual (a) solid and (b) fluid problems that make up the conjugate heat transfer problem

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Fig. 1

Schematic of the geometry for air/liquid cooling of a prismatic Li-ion battery pack, also showing the fundamental thermal unit cell within dashed lines

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

Schematic of the iterative procedure for solving the conjugate heat transfer problem

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Fig. 4

Plot showing the influence of the initial temperature distribution on the evolution of the solid–fluid interface temperature with number of iterations. This plot shows that in each case, the temperature distribution eventually converges to the same curve.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 5

Plot showing the effect of the number of eigenvalues in the thermal conduction problem on the converged temperature distribution

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Fig. 8

(a) Maximum temperature rise as a function of C-rate for two different coolant fluid flowrates and (b) maximum temperature rise as a function of coolant fluid flowrate for two different C-rates

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Fig. 9

Interface temperature as a function of x for water and FC72 at two different C-rates

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Fig. 6

Comparison of finite element simulation and analytical model for the conjugate heat transfer problem. This comparison is shown for two different C-rates. (a) Shows the comparison for interface temperature and (b) shows the comparison for interface heat flux.

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Fig. 7

(a) Two-dimensional temperature colormap for a specific set of parameters showing the entire solid cell domain and (b) temperature rise as a function of y at the center of the cell

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 10

Interface temperature rise as a function of x for different cell thicknesses at 5C discharge rate

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 11

Coolant flowrate needed to maintain a certain peak cell temperature as a function of the through-plane thermal conductivity ky of the cell

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 12

Peak cell temperature rise as a function of interfacial material thickness at 5C discharge cell cooled by 0.001 m/s water flow



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