Research Papers

Evaluation of Combined Active and Passive Thermal Management Strategies for Lithium-Ion Batteries

[+] Author and Article Information
Carlos F. Lopez

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Texas A&M University,
College Station, TX 77843
e-mail: carlos.lopez714@gmail.com

Judith A. Jeevarajan

Electrochemical Safety,
Underwriters Laboratories Inc.,
Northbrook, IL 60062
e-mail: Judy.Jeevarajan@ul.com

Partha P. Mukherjee

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Texas A&M University,
College Station, TX 77843
e-mail: pmukherjee@tamu.edu

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received June 11, 2016; final manuscript received November 11, 2016; published online December 12, 2016. Assoc. Editor: George Nelson.

J. Electrochem. En. Conv. Stor. 13(3), 031007 (Dec 12, 2016) (10 pages) Paper No: JEECS-16-1078; doi: 10.1115/1.4035245 History: Received June 11, 2016; Revised November 11, 2016

Lithium-ion batteries are the most commonly used portable energy storage technology due to their relatively high specific energy and power but face thermal issues that raise safety concerns, particularly in automotive and aerospace applications. In these environments, there is zero tolerance for catastrophic failures such as fire or cell rupture, making thermal management a strict requirement to mitigate thermal runaway potential. The optimum configurations for such thermal management systems are dependent on both the thermo-electrochemical properties of the batteries and operating conditions/engineering constraints. The aim of this study is to determine the effect of various combined active (liquid heat exchanger) and passive (phase-change material) thermal management techniques on cell temperatures and thermal balancing. The cell configuration and volume/weight constraints have important roles in optimizing the thermal management technique, particularly when utilizing both active and passive systems together. A computational modeling study including conjugate heat transfer and fluid dynamics coupled with thermo-electrochemical dynamics is performed to investigate design trade-offs in lithium-ion battery thermal management strategies. It was found that phase-change material properties and cell spacing have a significant effect on the maximum and gradient of temperature in a module cooled by combined active and passive thermal management systems.

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Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

Simulated (a) maximum cell temperature, (b) temperature gradient, and (c) module voltage for nominal, high, and external short discharge conditions: constant current at C/2, constant current at 3 C, and constant resistance at 100 mΩ. PCM is paraffin wax at 2 mm spacing and cap with Re = 1125.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Typical (a) aluminum cold plate with inlaid copper tubing, (b) paraffin wax phase-change material block for an 18,650 cell module and (c) computational domain for the twenty-five cell module simulated in this study. The phase-change material is denoted by the blue section surrounding the green 18,650 cells. Two aluminum cold plates with inlaid copper tubing are installed on the top and bottom of the simulated module. Thermal interface material is sandwiched between the module and the coolant channels. The PCM cap, if present, is located between the module and coolant channel (not shown). The module tabs are not modeled.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

Simulated (a) cross-sectional, (b) 3D solid volume fraction in the phase-change material for three discharge conditions at the end of discharge and (c) plane used for all cross-sectional views. PCM is paraffin wax at 2 mm spacing and cap with Re = 1125.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

Simulated cross-sectional and 3D temperature distributions for nominal, high, and external short discharge conditions during discharge. Time scale is nondimensional. PCM is paraffin wax at 2 mm spacing and cap with Re = 1125.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 5

Simulated (a) maximum cell temperature and (b) temperature gradient for paraffin wax, lauric acid, and a module with no PCM during constant resistance discharge at 100 mΩ. Spacing and cap are 2 mm and Re = 1125.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 6

Cross-sectional and 3D solid volume fraction in the phase-change material for lauric acid and paraffin wax during constant resistance discharge at 100 mΩ. Time scale is nondimensional.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 7

(a) Maximum cell temperature and (b) temperature gradient for 2, 4, and 6 mm spacing between the cells with paraffin wax PCM during constant resistance discharge at 100 mΩ. Cap thickness was set to 2 mm, and the coolant Re = 1125.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 8

(a) Maximum cell temperature and (b) temperature gradient for 0, 2, and 4 mm cap thickness between the cells and the cold plate with paraffin wax PCM during constant resistance discharge at 100 mΩ. Spacing was held at 2 mm and the coolant Re = 1125.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 9

Pump power requirement and average channel Nusselt number for Reynolds numbers of 225, 1125, and 2250. Results are calculated using Eqs. (17) and (18).

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 10

Cross-sectional temperature distributions for Reynolds numbers of 225, 1125, and 2250 at the end of constant resistance discharge at 100 mΩ. Spacing and cap thickness set to 2 mm.



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