Thermal Management: The Importance and Benefits of Optimum Performance
Thermal management, in short, is the process of regulating and controlling the temperature and temperature difference of a target object using heating or cooling and other related methods for components such as batteries. The basic principles involved in the three heat transfer processes of heat conduction, convective heat transfer or thermal radiation, and these three processes involve temperature differences, so the process of thermal management needs to consume energy, so that the target object and the external environment to produce a temperature difference.
Its application scenarios are very wide, has been widely used in industry, communications industry, consumer electronics, servers, energy storage, new energy vehicles and other scenarios, the normal and stable operation of the relevant equipment or electronic components has a very positive role, and with the rapid development of the relevant industries, the thermal management industry will also be more and more attention.
Table of Contents
Thermal management is important for a number of reasons
- Thermal management can prevent overheating and system failure: With the rapid development of thermal management-related application scenarios, the function of the relevant equipment increases, the work of the components accumulate a large amount of heat. Excessive heat accumulation can lead to damage of electronic components, degradation of equipment performance or even collapse of the whole system. Through reasonable thermal management measures, heat can be effectively dissipated to ensure that the system operates within the appropriate temperature range and improve the reliability of the system.
- Through thermal management: the performance and service life of the equipment can be greatly enhanced. Take the current commonly used mobile phones as an example, due to the internal structure of the mobile phone layout is quite compact, there are basically very few gaps between the various electronic components. If the battery and processor heat can not be discharged in a timely manner, it will affect the various temperatures of other components, thus breaking the co-ordination of various hardware, not only affecting the performance of the device will also affect the service life of the mobile phone.
- From the point of view of the need for safety: thermal management system is indispensable in related industries, to the energy storage industry, for example, with the growth of the scale of the energy storage plant, the number of batteries and power increase, will accumulate a lot of heat when running, if not effective and timely heat dissipation, will cause thermal runaway serious consequences. Therefore, effective thermal management is of great significance to safety.
- Thermal management can improve energy utilisation: in new energy vehicles, too high or too low working environment will affect the performance of the battery, thus affecting the range of new energy. And through a reasonable and effective thermal management strategy, the working temperature can be kept at a reasonable temperature, reducing energy consumption and reducing operating costs.
In summary, the importance of thermal management thermal management is reflected in the prevention of overheating and system failure, enhanced performance and life, safety considerations, as well as energy efficiency and cost savings and other aspects.
Industry and Application of Thermal Management
Thermal management industry in the power battery industry and energy storage industry and the most widely used. Power battery in the field of new energy vehicle thermal management of the fastest growing, with the new energy vehicles to the market penetration rate increase and the performance of related products upgrade, thermal management system in the new energy market space and value is huge.
Thermal management of new energy vehicles have multiple significance, first of all, new energy range when consumers are most concerned about one of the indicators, the thermal management system can effectively control the battery temperature, to prevent overheating of the battery pack cold caused by the battery performance decline, to improve the efficiency of the battery to extend the range of the vehicle.
Secondly, the safety of the power battery can be enhanced, the power battery is the power source and core components of new energy vehicles, thermal management system through the BMS system can effectively control the working temperature, prevent thermal runaway caused by explosion and fire and other accidents, to protect the safety of vehicles and passengers.
Finally, with the development of the new energy vehicle industry, the relevant departments of the vehicle safety performance and quality requirements are also higher and higher, the relevant laws and regulations also require that car companies need to have the appropriate thermal management capabilities to ensure the safety and quality of the vehicle.
Effective thermal management technology
Taking the electric vehicle field as an example, current thermal management solutions can be roughly divided into four types: air-cooled, liquid-cooled, direct-cooled, and phase-change materials.
Air-cooling is the most common and simplest way to dissipate heat, using natural airflow or fan to blow away the heat absorbed by the radiator. It has the advantages of low cost, simple installation, reliable and easy maintenance, etc. However, it is affected by the environment, and was more widely used in early electric vehicles.
Liquid cooling can be divided into cold plate liquid cooling and submerged liquid cooling, cold plate liquid cooling is a kind of indirect heat dissipation, through the cooling plate and the battery contact, the use of coolant in the cold plate and the battery for heat exchange, and through the cooling channel to take away the heat. Submerged liquid cooling is a heat dissipation method in which the battery module is submerged in an insulated cooling liquid for heat exchange. Liquid cooling has the advantages of high heat exchange efficiency and uniform heat, but the cost is higher.
Refrigerant direct cooling is to use the refrigerant of the whole vehicle air-conditioning system to directly flow the refrigerant into the internal evaporator of the battery, where the refrigerant evaporates and efficiently removes the heat from the battery system. This design is simple and easy to disassemble, with low maintenance costs. However, direct heating is not possible and an additional heating system is required.
Phase change materials can be divided into inorganic phase change materials, organic phase change materials and composite phase change materials. Its heat absorption and exothermic process, the system temperature is smooth, can achieve the effect of approximate constant temperature, has been used in many fields. There are simple structure, small mass and huge latent heat characteristics, but the replacement cost is high and the stability is poor.
Thermal management with the development of related industries, the relevant departments of energy consumption and safety of the importance of the customer’s demand for the stability of the relevant products, has been more and more attention by the majority of manufacturers. Its characteristics in maintaining system stability, enhanced performance, enhanced security and cost reduction are also favoured by the relevant industry. Therefore, with the continuous development of related material technology, more and more solutions will be applied, and the application scenario of thermal management will be further expanded.