Passive thermal management of the lithium-ion battery unit for a solar racing car

Celik A., Coban H., Gocmen S., EZAN M. A., GÖREN A., EREK A.

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ENERGY RESEARCH, vol.43, no.8, pp.3681-3691, 2019 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 43 Issue: 8
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Doi Number: 10.1002/er.4521
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.3681-3691
  • Keywords: CFD, experimental, lithium-ion battery, PCM, solar racing car, PHASE-CHANGE, UNIFORMITY, SYSTEM, PERFORMANCE, MODELS, MODULE, PACKS
  • Dokuz Eylül University Affiliated: Yes


In this study, a three-dimensional numerical model is developed to investigate the thermal and electrical characteristics of 18 650 lithium-ion battery cells that are used in the solar racing car of Dokuz Eylul University, i.e., SOLARIS. The Newman, Tiedemann, Gu, and Kim (NTGK) battery model of ANSYS Fluent software is implemented to resolve the coupled multiphysics problem. In the analysis, only the discharging period of the battery is considered. Before going through parametric studies under variable weather conditions, time-wise variations of the cell temperature and the battery voltage are evaluated both experimentally and numerically under two different ambient conditions of 0 degrees C and 25 degrees C. Comparative results revealed that reasonable predictions are achieved with the current battery model, and the difference between the predicted battery surface temperature and experimental data is less than 1 degrees C. Following the model validation, the battery performance is numerically examined by applying the battery model to a real race procedure of SOLARIS. Phase change materials (PCMs) with different amounts and melting temperatures are implemented around the batteries, and transient analyses are conducted under real weather conditions. The current study aims to keep the battery temperature of a solar racing car above a certain limit to prevent the overcooling and maintain higher charging capacity. Implementation of PCM with a melting temperature of 26 degrees C yields 3.15% of capacity increment, and such a performance improvement corresponds to 15.51 Wh of extra energy that can be extracted from an individual battery.