Research Papers

Sodium Metal Halide Battery Thermal Design for Improved Reliability

[+] Author and Article Information
Kanthi Bhamidipati

General Electric Power,
Schenectady, NY 12345
e-mail: kanthi.bhamidipati@gm.com

Jim Lindsey

General Electric Renewable Energy,
Schenectady, NY 12345
e-mail: james.lindsey@ge.com

Kris Frutschy

General Electric Power,
Schenectady, NY 12345
e-mail: frutschy@research.ge.com

Amin Ajdari

Johnson & Johnson Company,
Raynham, MA 02767
e-mail: aajdari@its.jnj.com

Jim Browell

Keene, NH 03431
e-mail: jimbrowell@nycap.rr.com

Sandor Hólló

General Electric Global Research,
Niskayuna, NY 12309
e-mail: sandor.hollo@ge.com

Manuscript received January 14, 2018; final manuscript received March 4, 2018; published online April 12, 2018. Assoc. Editor: Partha P. Mukherjee.

J. Electrochem. En. Conv. Stor. 15(4), 041004 (Apr 12, 2018) (8 pages) Paper No: JEECS-18-1005; doi: 10.1115/1.4039662 History: Received January 14, 2018; Revised March 04, 2018

Cell temperature uniformity inside most batteries is important, because temperature variation leads to cell resistance variation and thus cell voltage variation during discharge–charge cycling. Voltage variation among the cells leads to accelerated degradation of the overall battery. Goal of this work was to improve cell temperature uniformity of the General Electric DurathonTM E620 battery module (600 V class, 20 kWh, 280 °C nominal temperature), which uses the sodium metal halide chemistry and convection air cooling. Computation fluid dynamics (CFD) study and bench-top testing were used to evaluate multiple battery design options. The optimized battery design was prototyped and tested, which demonstrated 3.5× increase in cooling power and 30% reduction in cell temperature difference during discharge–charge cycling. Cell temperature difference during battery float was reduced 50%. The hardware design changes were implemented into production batteries, which showed 450% improvement in reliability performance during discharge–charge cycling.

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Fig. 1

Durathon sodium-metal-halide battery design

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Fig. 2

Cross-sectional view of initial six battery cooling design concepts

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Fig. 3

New design features used in optimized battery design

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Fig. 4

Calculated temperature (° C) using 18-cell model at end of cooling from 340 °C to 250 °C at 24 SCFM battery cooling air flow

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Fig. 5

Prototype hardware for new features used in optimized battery design

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Fig. 6

Measured and calculated (216-cell model, optimized battery) cell average temperatures during float

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Fig. 7

Optimized prototype battery (right) and calculated cell pack temperature (° C, left) at the end of discharge–charge cycle using 216-cell model

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Fig. 8

Measured temperature parameters from optimized prototype battery during 10 kW discharge/recharge

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Fig. 9

Measured battery reliability (using cell normalized data) versus time during discharge/charge cycling



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