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Thermal management of electric vehicle battery cells with homogeneous coolant and temperature distribution
Electric vehicles play an integral role in eliminating pollution related to transportation, especially if the electricity is generated via renewable sources. However, storing electricity onboard requires many battery cells. If the temperature of the cells is not strictly regulated, their capacity decreases in time, and they may burn or explode due to thermal runaway. Battery thermal management systems emerged for safe operations by keeping the battery cell temperatures under limit values. However, the current solutions do not yield uniform temperature distribution for all the cells in a pack. Here, we document that constant temperature distribution can be achieved with uniform coolant distribution to the channels located between batteries. The design process of the developed battery pack begins with a design used in current packs. Later, how the shape of the distributor channel affects flow uniformity is documented. Then, the design complexity was increased to satisfy the flow uniformity condition, which is essential for temperature uniformity. The design was altered based on a constructal design methodology with an iterative exhaustive search approach. The uncovered constructal design yields a uniform coolant distribution with a maximum of 0.81% flow rate deviation along channels. The developed design is palpable and easy to manufacture relative to the tapered manifold designs. The results also document that the peak temperature difference between the cells decreases from a maximum of 12K to 0.4K. Furthermore, homogenous distribution of air is one of the limiting factors of the development of metal-air batteries. This paper also documents how air can be distributed uniformly to metal-air battery cells in a battery pack.