Thermal management support for electric and hybrid vehicles

5th October 2017
Alice Matthews

In order to include thermal management solutions for batteries in electric and hybrid electric vehicles (BEV/PHEV), Parker Chomerics has extended its range of products for the automotive sector. Electric vehicles have significantly larger battery packs than those with conventional engines. These generate a considerable amount of heat that must be dissipated. Left unchecked, excessive heat can cause faster battery wear, reduced performance (due to uneven temperature distribution) and reduced charge efficiency.

There are also safety issues to be guarded against with respect to thermal runaway of the battery packs. Effective thermal management is therefore critical to optimise battery performance and longevity, with improved safety and reliability, allowing vehicles to travel greater distances and increasing the achievable run-time on a single charge.

Liquid cooling is often used for thermal management, with cooling loops/coils serving various sub-assemblies of the battery to manage heat. Thermal interface gels are dispensed between the coils and the aluminium chassis of the battery for greater safety. This delivers long-term thermal stability and performance and also prevents any opportunity for an electrical short.

Parker Chomerics’ THERM-A-GAP gels are suitable for this function. They are highly conformable, pre-cured or cure-in-place, one-component compounds featuring a cross-linked structure. Both silicone and non-silicone gels can be offered depending on the specific thermal conductivity requirements. The gels are particularly suited to the high-volume automotive market due to ease-of-dispensing using robotics or automation, thus reducing cycle times and costs considerably.

Chomerics’ THERM-A-GAP filler pads can be used for assemblies that might require additional support and higher electrical isolation. Thermal interface materials, such as gels and pads, also help the battery to reach its optimum temperature and performance quicker delivering a further benefit to drivers during cold winter months.

The Parker Chomerics portfolio of products for the automotive sector also includes EMI shielding and grounding, optical displays, engineered electrically-conductive plastics and metal-based assemblies. These are all designed to ensure that electronic systems work reliably in the harsh automotive environment while being easy and cost-effective for manufacturers to deploy.

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