The Thermal Management of Li-ion Battery Packs

Michele Gosso & Antonio Fiumara

Fiat Research Center, Orbassano, Italy

At the Fiat Research Center in Italy, Michele Gosso and Antonio Fiumara are working on the development of providing power for electric and hybrid vehicles. The team must combine individual lithium-ion battery pouch cells into battery packs to generate the 350V needed, while providing the packs with sufficient cooling. At the same time, they want to keep the packs as small and light as possible.

The team uses COMSOL Multiphysics to study surface distribution of the convection air cooling used in the design. This allows them to discover hot spots in the cell and investigate internal temperature distribution that cannot be achieved in other ways, due to the difficulty of embedding thermocouples in battery pouches and attaining reliable results. The model created using COMSOL Multiphysics allowed the team to cut design time by 70%. The team hopes to utilize this smaller, lighter battery pack in a larger variety of vehicles in the future.

Surface heat of a lithium-ion battery pack -- the uniform heat distribution is an important parameter