Researchers from the University of Malta Institute of Aerospace Technologies (IAT) and Abertax Kemtronics have developed a unique evaporative cooling technology to overcome thermal limitations posed by overheating lithium-ion batteries.
Project NEVAC developed a self-sustaining cooling mechanism that allows charging and discharging at a higher rate than has so far been safe, considering how temperature-dependant the behaviour of a battery can be. NEVAC uses the concept of boiling (having multiple advantages such as the entire battery pack maintaining a single temperature) and the latent heat can extract a greater magnitude of heat from the battery cells.
DR Robert Camilleri, NEVAC’s project lead in the IAT, said: “It is becoming more obvious that we need to move towards electric transportation. However, there are still concerns about vehicle range and the ability for fast charging. Battery heating is one of the main limitations for fast charging because high current input generates excessive heat in battery cells, and presents risks for thermal runaway. Project NEVAC addresses this limitation by developing a novel technology that is able to cool battery cells effectively and therefore unlocking the ability for fast charging.”
The researchers will be filing an international patent.
NEVAC was financed by the Malta Council for Science & Technology, through the FUSION: R&I Technology Development Programme. The consortium received circa €200,000 funding for this research project.