The Electrical Vehicle Industry worldwide is on the verge of completely replacing the conventional IC engines Automobile Industry in the coming years. Although the R&D, manufacturing, and production of the EV components are at its peak, several problems must be fixed simultaneously. The lack of advancement in the Electric Vehicle Ecosystem, the lower range offered by the EVs, and slow recharging of the batteries are among some of the problems faced by EV users around the globe. But among all the issues which can not be neglected, is the battery heating problem. Hence proper cooling systems and Thermal Management Systems are the requirements for the upcoming EVS.
The major renowned companies around the world are busy in upgrading the battery performance and efficiency. Presently Lithium-ion cells are being used in the battery packs because of its high energy density. These cells are very efficient when it comes to storing a large amount of charge and efficiently generating power for the EV. Also, to extract the most from the batteries, it must operate in an advisable thermal range. But a downside of the Li-ion cells or majority cells is that these batteries get heated up very fast. Whether it is charging of batteries or using it for generating power, it gets heated up very fast. When it comes to the rapid charging of the battery packs, the temperature shoots up and may cross the prescribed thermal range, which is harmful to the vehicles.
What are the cooling systems used in EVs?
The battery Cooling systems work along with Thermal Management System (integrated with BMS Controller) are responsible for keeping the EV battery pack in prescribed operating range. The cooling systems or the Battery Cooling Technologies takes care of the batteries and keep them safe and secure. There are various cooling systems used in Electric vehicles. Air Cooling systems, Liquid Cooling technology, Direct, and Indirect Cooling methodology are among the most successful in cooling down the Li-ion and other cells used in the battery.
In the Air-Cooling Technique, the air stream is passed over the cells, helping to absorb the heat through convection. Since the method is not efficient and safe, the companies decided to shift to liquid cooling systems. In Liquid cooling, a coolant (glycol- water mixture) is used to extract heat from the batteries, hence cooling it down. There are two types of liquid cooling systems, Direct Cooling, and Indirect Cooling. In the direct cooling method, the cells are submerged in the coolant. It requires special attention, and the coolant must not be conductive. In the indirect cooling technique, the coolant flows in the tubes, and the tubes surround the cells. This arrangement helps the coolant to extract the heat without being in contact with the cells directly. Till today, Indirect cooling systems are the most trusted, secure, and efficient modes of cooling down he batteries to its operating thermal range.
Are Graphene Batteries helpful and efficient for EVs?
Apart from improving the cooling techniques used in electric vehicles, the OEMs and other production companies are working on improving battery technology. The Li-ion batteries that are presently used in EVs get heat up very quickly. As the flow of charge increases through the battery, the temperature rises. However, for achieving the maximum efficiency of the battery pack, it must operate at an optimum thermal range. Therefore, we need a battery that can hold the right amount of charge, charge up quickly, can produce enough power while operating in its optimum range.
The company named Graphenano is successful in developing Grabat Graphene cells. The company claims that these cells are 33 times faster than the Li-ion cells and capable of efficiently producing and transferring power. The Graphene cells are capable of holding a more significant amount of charge and capable of driving a range up to 500 miles (greater than Li-ion batteries). The graphene cells take less time to recharge, hence the heating issue will be less than the former Lithium-ion batteries. Although there is no commercial use of graphene cells, the company is ready to supply batteries for EVs, Electric bikes, drones, etc.
Since the demand for EVs will gradually increase soon, the advancement in Electric Mobility must increase its pace to meet future requirements. The improvement in the E-Mobility infrastructure, along with scaling up the EV production, must go hand in hand with the refinement in the battery technology, Cooling systems, and the effective Thermal Management Systems. The Indirect Liquid Cooling Technique is the best method as compared to others, but various OEMs and other companies are in favor of improving it to advance electric vehicle safety.