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John O | January 2018

Thermal management part of University of Toronto EV battery project


Researchers at the University of Toronto (Canada) are beginning a four-year, interdisciplinary research project in cooperation with Toronto-based electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer Havelaar Canada to design a more efficient battery, according to a report on the university website.

 

  
Daniela Galatro (MIE PhD candidate), Zhe Gong (ECE MASc candidate), Carlos Da Silva (MIE PhD 1T6), Kshitij Gupta (MIE MASc candidate) are members of a multidisciplinary team improving improved battery technology for electric vehicles. (Liz Do/University of Toronto)

 

Among the collaborators is thermal management expert Cristina Amon, dean of the school’s Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering.

 

The research will focus on the high cost and limited performance of lithium battery packs and the impact that the batteries have on EV range and longevity. According to the article, “The team aims to design a next-generation battery pack that is lower in cost, is more reliable, safer and lasts longer. A vital part in accomplishing this is by improving the thermal management of batteries.”

 

Researchers will examine the challenge of maintaining a proper operating temperature for the battery to maintain performance for a longer period of time. As the article noted, lower temperatures increase the internal resistance and lower a battery’s capacity, while higher temperatures will degrade the battery.

 

“Researchers from MIE (the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering), under the supervision of Dean Amon, are developing a cooling system that will tightly control thermal performance, not only to keep the battery temperature within a safe range but to extend the lifespan of the battery,” the article continued.

 

The team of researchers will also look into the challenge of recycling used batteries to increase the sustainability of EV manufacturing.

 

Two battery module prototypes have already been built and a final version is expected to be ready by next year. The battery will be tested in an electric truck being built by Havelaar.

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