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John O | January 2019

Details emerge about battery thermal management on new Hyundai Kona EV

By Josh Perry, Editor


In December, Electric Revs revealed details about the battery thermal management system used on the new 2019 Hyundai Kona Electric, which includes liquid cooling but no dedicated battery heating for cars being sold in the U.S.


A look at the battery modules in the new Hyundai Kona Electric. (YouTube/Cars VS Cars)


There has been a lot of discussion about what the batteries would look like and plenty of comment about the lack of a heater in the U.S., so Electric Revs got a comprehensive look at the battery modules.


According to the article, the battery cells were made by LG with a cathode that is 60 percent nickel, 20 percent manganese, and 20 percent cobalt. Each 64-kWh pack has five modules that are located under the floor in the main cabin with two stacked modules under the rear seats. There are 294 cells in the battery pack and are wired into 98 cell groups of three cells apiece.


The modules sit on top of cold plates that channel fluid. As the article described, “Inside the 64 kWh pack there are three coolant sub-loops running through the five modules. One sub-loop runs through the driver-side floor module and one of the stacked modules. A second sub-loop runs though the passenger-side floor module and the other stacked module. The third sub-loop cools only the middle floor module.”


A heat pump and dedicated battery heater will be available for Canadian sales, but not in the U.S., which leads to the assumption that sales will be focused on California and other temperate locations rather than the Northeast or Midwest.


“Despite the lack of a dedicated battery heater, the U.S. version of the Kona does have the ability to scavenge heat from the electric motor and power electronics in addition to the heat dissipated by the battery itself to help keep the battery warm when operating in colder conditions,” the article noted.


A thermal management loop with computer-controlled valves allows the battery pack sub-loops to run separately or being included with the coolant that runs through the motor, motor inverter, other power electronics, and the on-board battery charger. The valves have three modes: Heating, Low-Temperature Radiator, and Chiller.


“During much of the year in mild climate conditions the thermal system typically starts up in LTR mode,” according to the article, “which circulates coolant through a single interconnected loop to warm the battery up to its optimal operating temperature when cold and to maintain that temperature with the help of a radiator and fan.”


Chiller mode runs the coolant through an on-board chiller when temperatures get too hot. The chiller uses the car’s air conditioning loop to reduce the temperature. Heating, or ‘Winter Mode,’ uses a heater (when present) to raise the temperature of the coolant before it runs under the battery modules.


This thermal management system will also be included in the 2019 Kia Niro EV and the 2020 Kia Soul EV.


Read more at https://electricrevs.com/2018/12/20/exclusive-details-on-hyundais-new-battery-thermal-management-design and watch the video below:

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