Optimising Battery Pack Thermal Management
Optimising Battery Pack Thermal Management- Today’s rapid technological development, the performance and stability of batteries, as a core component in the field of new energy, have attracted much attention. However, operation in high-temperature environments has become a major challenge for battery technology. In this paper, we will deeply explore the impact of high temperatures on battery performance and focus on the key role of thermally conductive interface materials in thermal management. Through the selection and application of interface materials, the direction of innovative development, and their prospects in the thermal management industry, we will gain a comprehensive understanding of the importance of this field and lay a solid foundation for the future enhancement of battery technology.
Table of Contents
The effect of a high-temperature environment on battery performance
High temperature will hurt the battery pack; the following are some of the adverse effects of increased internal temperature on the battery pack:
The battery pack’s range will be drastically reduced: battery packs generally use lithium batteries. Lith batteries typically need to work at a stable temperature to achieve the maximum range capacity. With the excessive internal temperature of the battery pack, the chemical reaction rate increases dramatically; the active material in the battery cell will react faster with the electrolyte, thus reducing electrical energy output.
Unevenness of capacity between cells: Due to the different states of the cells from the factory, specific cells are more affected by high temperatures, resulting in a faster decline in their capacity and earlier failure. This reduces the efficiency of the overall battery pack.
Increased risk of safety hazards in battery packs:high temperatures can lead to uncontrolled chemical reactions within the battery cell, resulting in overheating, leakage, and even thermal runaway, leading to battery pack explosion, a risky hazard for electronic equipment and new energy vehicles.
Thermally Conductive Interface Materials
Thermally conductive interface material is used for the material’s conductive properties, commonly used to fill or coat the gap between the heat source and the heat sink. In the heat dissipation scenario, the design engineer must consider the issue because the thermal interface materials need to maintain the stability of the scene’s performance at high temperatures in use during the period before the failure. Otherwise, it will affect the thermal efficiency of the device and increase the risk of thermal runaway.
Common thermal interface materials include thermally conductive silicone grease, thermally conductive adhesive, thermally conductive spacer, metal film, high thermal conductivity ceramic particles mixture, etc. The selection of the thermal interface needs to consider the high-temperature range, pressure, chemical environment, and thermal conductivity under a high-temperature environment. Different materials behave differently at high temperatures, so choosing a suitable thermally conductive material is necessary according to the scenario and application.
With the vigorous development of new energy vehicles and energy storage devices, thermal interface materials are more and more common in the internal application of battery packs, which is very important for the heat conduction of battery packs because the performance of thermal interface materials will directly determine the performance of the heat sink.
Inside the battery pack, the thermal interface is mainly used in these three aspects:
1. Thermal management: When working, the heat of the battery cell needs to be transferred to the heat sink or this heat dissipation structure to ensure that the battery cell is in the appropriate operating temperature range.
2. Filling: When the battery module is installed, the thermally conductive interface material can fill the gap between the components and improve the heat transfer performance.
3. Encapsulation: The battery pack shell also needs to be thermally conductive to ensure its ability to conduct heat, and thermally conductive interface materials can strengthen its conductive ability.
Interface materials play a role in the battery pack to help optimize thermal management and improve the safety and performance of the battery pack.
Selection and application of interface materials
The proper selection of thermal interface materials can positively impact device performance, risk of failure, and heat transfer efficiency of heat sinks, especially for applications requiring high heat dissipation, such as electronic devices, automotive, and energy systems. The following are essential factors to consider for the proper selection of thermal interface materials:
1. Thermal conductivity of the material: Common metals such as copper and aluminum have very high thermal conductivity and are therefore often used as thermal interface materials, in addition to organic non-metallic materials such as silicone grease and ceramic particle mixtures are also often used as thermal interface materials.
2. Surface flatness: Because the thermal conductive interface material needs to fill the gap, the surface flatness and adaptability of the material are critical.
3. Chemical compatibility: thermally conductive interface materials must be compatible with the surrounding environment and the materials in contact and cannot produce corrosion and related chemical reactions.
4. Application mode: the material has a variety of forms, such as paste, film, gasket, etc., and should be based on the application scenario to choose the appropriate application mode.
5. Material durability: thermal interface materials often work in high-temperature environments and, therefore, need good durability to prevent peeling, aging and decomposition, and damage to the equipment, in addition to the durability of the material itself, except for the need for regular maintenance.
Innovations and prospects in the field of interface materials
Thermal interface materials have a vital role in the thermal management of batteries in high-temperature environments and the field of electronics with high energy consumption. Therefore, many people in the industry have done a lot of research on this material to get a more efficient material, and the following are the innovations in the field of thermal interface materials and the related prospects.
Design and synthesis of multifunctional interfacial materials
Research and design of multifunctional thermal interface materials to achieve the complex high-temperature environment in the conductive, thermal conductivity, compatibility, and other applications, and to broaden its application for flexible electronics and other emerging fields.
Improve the performance of thermal interface materials by utilizing the properties of nanomaterials to enhance the energy density and power size of batteries.
Environmentally friendly materials
With the general concern of environmental protection in and outside the industry, the demand for environmentally friendly materials for thermal interface materials is also increasing, so relevant practitioners are also studying the application of biodegradable materials in batteries and reducing resource consumption.
From the overall trend, the innovative development of thermal interface materials will significantly impact the results of many fields, and the technological breakthrough of related materials will promote the development of the thermal management industry.
The overheating environment will hurt the performance of the equipment, so the choice of thermal interface materials is critical. Its performance directly affects the regular operation of the equipment; innovative materials, including the design of thermal interface materials and nanomaterials applications, will promote the development of the materials field, and the thermal management industry will play a significant role in promoting it.