NUMERICAL DESIGN OPTIMIZATION FOR THERMAL AND PRESSURE BEHAVIOUR OF MULTIPLE CURVED CHANNEL COOLING PLATES IN ELECTRIC-VEHICLE BATTERY COOLING SYSTEMS
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The effects of climate change along with shifts in social demands have opened up commercial possibilities for new and innovative green technology. At the head of this trend is research into new technologies for Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs) and Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs). These technologies would provide for more environmentally friendly transportation; however their current performance when compared to Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) Vehicles has led to slow adoption rates. One of the key factors that could help to increase the performance of HEVs and BEVs lies in improvement of the battery systems. Through proper thermal management of the batteries the range and performance of these vehicles can be improved, helping to increase the performance of the vehicles. This study looks at improving the thermal management of the battery system by generating more efficient cooling plates. These cooling plates are set between battery cells and contain channels that coolant is pumped through. Through optimization of these cooling channels, the efficiency of the cooling plates with regards to the average temperature and standard deviation of temperature of the battery cell can both be increased. The power required to run the cooling system can also be reduced by reducing the pressure losses associated with the cooling plate. Numerical optimization on three models of cooling plates was performed. The models were based on multi-inlet and outlet curved channel systems, with one model constructed using arcs and the other two using 90 degree angles. Results showed that improvements of up to 80% could be made depending on the objective functions when compared to an initial design through optimization, with straight channels providing 8% more efficient designs in terms of pressure losses over curved designs, and curved designs providing 6% more efficient designs in terms of average temperature. Analysis on the effects of varying the mass flow rate, heat flux and inlet temperature was also conducted to evaluate their effects on the optimized geometries. This study has practical applications in helping to develop new cooling plates for commercial use through implementation of the generated design features and optimization algorithms.