Shopping? Check out our latest product comparisons

CryoSolplus could help keep EV batteries cool

By

July 13, 2012

A sample of Fraunhofer's CryoSolplus phase-change battery coolant

A sample of Fraunhofer's CryoSolplus phase-change battery coolant

One of the big enemies of electric vehicle batteries is heat. Batteries already warm up under normal use, but when hot summer temperatures or high workloads are thrown in, overheating becomes a real possibility. According to the Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety and Energy Technology, running a battery at ten degrees over its maximum “comfort level” of about 35ºC (95ºF) can deplete its service life by half. That’s why researchers there have developed a battery coolant known as CryoSolplus, which is said to offer three times the cooling capacity of plain water.

CryoSolplus consists of water, paraffin, stabilizing tensides (detergents) and “a dash” of glycol anti-freeze. When the solution is cool, the paraffin takes the form of solid droplets. The tensides keep those droplets suspended uniformly throughout the mixture, as opposed to clumping together or floating on top.

As the solution is heated, the droplets melt, storing the heat in the process. Circulated in pipes around EV batteries, CryoSolplus could utilize this process to continuously carry away battery-generated heat. The liquified paraffin forms back into droplets as the solution cools, ready to repeat the process on the next drive.

The even dispersion of the droplets is key to the coolant’s effectiveness, so the researchers had to make sure that the tensides they chose could be stored for a long time without deteriorating, that they could stand up to the rigors of being pumped through pipes, and that thermal stresses (such as freezing and thawing) wouldn’t affect their performance.

Because CryoSolplus conducts heat so much better than water, less liquid would be needed within a vehicle’s cooling system, resulting in a smaller coolant tank size and lower weight. It is estimated that a system using the coolant would only be about €50 to €100 (US$61- $122) more expensive than a water-based cooling system.

The company is now working on boosting the coolant’s heat capacity, along with its ability to transfer heat and flow more smoothly. Field tests using an experimental vehicle are being planned.

Source: Fraunhofer

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away.   All articles by Ben Coxworth
3 Comments

Heat is energy. What will the breakthrough that allows that waste heat to be converted back into electricity?

DemonDuck
13th July, 2012 @ 09:42 pm PDT

Great. More toxic stuff to compensate for the laughably inefficient and toxic batteries for EVs.

SpaceBagels
14th July, 2012 @ 03:05 am PDT

I wonder how this would perform as liquid cooling in a computer.

Foiled
15th July, 2012 @ 12:26 am PDT
Post a Comment

Login with your gizmag account:

Or Login with Facebook:


Related Articles
Looking for something? Search our 27,793 articles