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Title: Stand Alone Battery Thermal Management System

The objective of this project is research, development and demonstration of innovative thermal management concepts that reduce the cell or battery weight, complexity (component count) and/or cost by at least 20%. The project addresses two issues that are common problems with current state of the art lithium ion battery packs used in vehicles; low power at cold temperatures and reduced battery life when exposed to high temperatures. Typically, battery packs are “oversized” to satisfy the two issues mentioned above. The first phase of the project was spent making a battery pack simulation model using AMEsim software. The battery pack used as a benchmark was from the Fiat 500EV. FCA and NREL provided vehicle data and cell data that allowed an accurate model to be created that matched the electrical and thermal characteristics of the actual battery pack. The second phase involved using the battery model from the first phase and evaluate different thermal management concepts. In the end, a gas injection heat pump system was chosen as the dedicated thermal system to both heat and cool the battery pack. Based on the simulation model. The heat pump system could use 50% less energy to heat the battery pack in -20°Cmore » ambient conditions, and by keeping the battery cooler at hot climates, the battery pack size could be reduced by 5% and still meet the warranty requirements. During the final phase, the actual battery pack and heat pump system were installed in a test bench at DENSO to validate the simulation results. Also during this phase, the system was moved to NREL where testing was also done to validate the results. In conclusion, the heat pump system can improve “fuel economy” (for electric vehicle) by 12% average in cold climates. Also, the battery pack size, or capacity, could be reduced 5%, or if pack size is kept constant, the pack life could be increased by two years. Finally, the total battery pack and thermal system cost could be reduced 5% only if the system is integrated with the vehicle cabin air conditioning system. The reason why we were not able to achieve the 20% reduction target is because of the natural decay of the battery cell due to the number of cycles. Perhaps newer battery chemistries that are not so sensitive to cycling would have more potential for reducing the battery size due to thermal issues.« less
  1. Denso International America, Incorporated, Southfield, MI (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Denso International America, Incorporated, Southfield, MI (United States); National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Contributing Orgs:
Fiat-Chrysler Automotive; Fiat-Chrysler Automotive; Fiat-Chrysler Automotive; National Renewable Energy Laboratory; National Renewable Energy Laboratory; DENSO International America, Inc.; DENSO International America, Inc.
Country of Publication:
United States