Dielectric Cooling Being Heralded as BEV Breakthrough

A consortium of auto suppliers and academics is claiming a breakthrough in BEV battery pack temperature management.

M&I Materials, Ricardo and the WMG, University of Warwick have announced a research project, named i-CoBat, using dielectric cooling fluid to keep the packs at an optimum temperature to improve charging speeds, vehicle performance and battery range.

While batteries in some EVs are air-cooled, liquid cooling, usually with water-based coolant, is quickly becoming a favored option to get the battery in the temperature window quickly, and to keep it there. While water-based systems circulate the coolant through passages in the battery structure, a dielectric fluid can immerse the battery and then extract the heat from the individual battery cells, or alternatively heat the battery to a suitable temperature for rapid charging at low temperatures. 

As charging power increases, potentially up to 350kW, more extensive cooling will be needed to cool the battery in order for efficient performance. The consortium argues that using dielectric fluid rather than water maintains a more efficient control of battery temperatures.

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