TLX Technologies delves into the intricacies of EV thermal management

October 13, 2023

TLX Technologies has shed light on the evolving challenges and possible solutions regarding thermal management in electric vehicles (EVs).

The insights were shared on their blog, which underlines the importance of efficient cooling systems for various components of EVs, given the automotive industry’s shift towards eMobility.

The complexities of eMobility thermal management

The eMobility sector has been continually seeking ways to match, if not surpass, the convenience of internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles.

Key concerns include EVs’ shorter range compared to gasoline or diesel vehicles, longer charging times, and lithium-ion battery lifespan limitations.

OEMs have thus been investing in efficient thermal management to enhance battery and charging system performance.

This doesn’t just entail cooling the battery or charging systems; power inverters, electric motors, and electronic modules all need optimal temperature regulation.

Additionally, the heating and cooling needs of the passenger cabin add to the overall complexity.

TLX Addresses the limitations of static thermal systems

Traditionally, many OEMs have adopted what are termed “static” thermal management systems, which are somewhat reminiscent of those found in ICE vehicles. However, these static systems, although functional, aren’t perfect.

For instance, the coolant’s effectiveness diminishes as it travels through the battery pack, leading to uneven cooling and, consequently, quicker degradation of certain battery cells.

Apart from cooling, thermal management is also about warming systems in colder conditions, which static systems might not handle effectively in extreme temperatures.

Transitioning towards dynamic thermal management

Recognizing the inherent limitations of static systems, TLX Technologies proposes a more nuanced, dynamic approach to thermal management.

Such systems would ensure targeted coolant flow to specific components, possibly using various proportional valves to regulate flow volumes and rates.

One proposed method is a multiport proportional valve, ensuring the battery remains at its optimal temperature throughout its cells.

This system would not only provide improved cooling but also effective warming in colder climates. Furthermore, energy efficiency could be enhanced using latching actuators in valves that don’t require continuous power, offering considerable energy savings.

By utilizing waste heat from other systems, these dynamic thermal management systems might also lessen the power drain that cabin heaters inflict on EVs during cold weather.

FSJA Comment

As the electric vehicle market continues to grow, the spotlight on thermal management intensifies.

TLX Technologies’ insights into the evolution of cooling systems, and their proposals for dynamic approaches, offer a fresh perspective on an existing challenge.

This shift towards more efficient and targeted cooling could significantly enhance vehicle longevity, performance, and energy efficiency.

Ultimately, such advancements could make EVs even more appealing to consumers, fostering more rapid adoption of clean energy vehicles.

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