RML Motorsport Battery thermal performance optimization
RML Group is a leading high-performance engineering company delivering world-class solutions in motorsport and automotive. They also specialize in EV technology for road and race applications utilizing their state-of-the-art energy storage design and manufacturing facility.
Motorsport Battery Thermal Performance
RML is developing a modular battery concept for automotive and motorsport applications. It is a 48V system. RML were aware of the importance of optimising the cooling of the battery pack to minimise variations in temperature across the pack which can negatively impact the performance and life of the pack.
RML asked Caepro to perform a CFD analysis of the current design of the battery pack to identify the cooling system efficiency. A coupled thermal analysis was also required to determine the variation in cell temperatures across the module which drives design for positioning cell thermistors in the module design. Caepro have significant experience in performing thermal analysis for conventional internal combustion engines and electrified powertrains.
The analysis included the resistive heating of the busbar and interconnect along with the cell heat rejection for the complete duty cycle. Assumptions were made on thermal gap resistance at the interfaces of the components where information was not readily available, based on Caepro’s experience with thermal modeling of electrical components.
Based on the initial analysis Caepro were able to propose design changes to improve the cooling circuit efficiency and thermal performance of the modular battery system. The reduction in the areas of stagnation (which was significant throughout the cooling circuit) should help to reduce the pressure drop across the circuit. With increase in coolant velocities, same coolant mass flow rate should be able to increase the heat transfer coefficients. The design changes should also better balance the battery temperatures and reduce the cell-to-cell temperature variation.
RML made the changes to the design and this was re-analysed. The new design showed a reduction in cell-to-cell temperature variation by around 14%. Duty cycle maximum temperatures were reduced by 11% and pressure drop was reduced by around 39%.
Director of Engineering at RML said, “the analysis performed by Caepro was very helpful in guiding the design to optimise the battery cooling performance. The quality of the analysis, reporting and design recommendations were excellent. We were also impressed with the ease of interaction with the engineering team. We look forward to using Caepro’s services again in design and analysis in other areas in the near future”.
John Roebuck, Managing Director of Caepro added, “Caepro is delighted have been able to help RML in developing their interesting battery concept. Motorsport places high demands on performance, speed and confidentiality and so we are very pleased to have been able to meet these demands successfully. We look forward to supporting RML with their design, analysis and sourcing requirements in the future”.
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