Thermal management: key to maximising lithium batteries

thermal management of lithium batteries

Summary of the entry::

Find out why effective thermal management ensures maximum performance from your lithium battery pack. This criterion can be key to choosing the right manufacturer for your business project.

Battery thermal management is a critical factor in ensuring the optimal performance and life of lithium batteries. Maintaining an appropriate temperature is essential to prevent battery degradation and ensure battery safety. We will see below how this is important for electric vehicles powered by lithium batteries.

Temperature effects on lithium batteries

Thermal management of the battery pack is essential to its proper operation. The temperature at which the battery operates is critical to its life and performance, so it is important to keep it within the right range. 

  • If the temperature is too low, the battery capacity may be reduced.
  • If it is too high, it may degrade and reduce its lifetime. 

To ensure the best machine performance in all temperatures and environmental conditions without compromising battery life, what is the solution? Lithium-ion batteries with advanced battery management (BMS). In addition, in certain cases, it may even be useful to have heating and cooling systems.

At NCPOWER, we have integrated thermal management into our battery system to ensure optimal battery performance in extreme conditions, whether in temperatures as low as -30°C or as high as +45°C. 

This not only ensures the efficiency and lifetime of the lithium battery, but also protects against any damage that may occur in adverse conditions.

Types of battery heating and cooling systems

There are two different methods for implementing battery heating systems: 

  • By means of electrical resistors applied to the cells 
  • Through a fluid circuit 

On the other hand, there are three different methods for implementing cooling systems: 

  • By forced ventilation
  • Air-cooled inside the pack
  • By liquid cooling inside the pack

The choice of the best solution will depend on the intended use of the battery, the voltage of the battery pack and the amount of mass production planned.

The heating system on lithium batteries

The heating system in lithium batteries is a critical component in the thermal management of lithium batteries. It maintains the optimal operating temperature of the battery cells, preventing them from being damaged or losing capacity. In short, it is important to ensure the safety and optimal performance of the battery in extreme temperature conditions. 

At NCPOWER, we implement a heating system in most of our lithium batteries for electric and hybrid vehicles. 

Lithium batteries cannot be charged at temperatures below 0°C, and if stored at lower temperatures, their efficiency decreases. Therefore, by equipping the battery with a heating system, the temperature is maintained at a suitable level, ensuring constant performance even in cold temperatures. 

In addition, this system does not significantly increase the total battery cost and allows the vehicle or machine to be used regardless of the weather.

ADVANTAGES HEATING SYSTEM

→ No decrease in battery performance
→ Increased overall efficiency of the vehicle or machine
→ The vehicle or machine can be used immediately after a period of inactivity at low temperatures.
→ Low impact on total battery cost

The cooling system in lithium batteries

cooling system lithium battery

The choice of whether or not to include a cooling system in a lithium battery can be a more complicated issue. It can significantly increase the final cost of the battery and, in some cases, may be unnecessary. Therefore, it is important to evaluate the operational requirements of the specific application before making a decision.

If the battery is expected to be used for short periods of time and does not undergo multiple charge and discharge cycles in a single day, a cooling system may not be necessary. An example would be a road sweeper that only runs for a few hours a day. In this case, if the battery cools down but then the vehicle remains idle for the rest of the day, the cooling system would not be effective.

In which cases, however, would a lithium battery cooling system be useful? For heavy-duty applications, where the stress on the energy store is very high. With constant charging and discharging, the internal temperature rises significantly. If a cooling system is not used under these conditions, the lifetime of the battery will be drastically reduced. For example, this can apply to the use of utility vehicles working 24/7, especially in hot climates.

ADVANTAGES COOLING SYSTEM

→ Perfect for heavy-duty applications with short charging and discharging times.
→ Suitable for vehicles where the battery charge is high

DISADVANTAGES COOLING SYSTEM

→ The cost is not negligible
→ Impractical for applications that operate only a few hours a day

What is the optimal solution for your vehicle?

Each application has its own unique requirements. There is no single, optimal solution that is suitable for all vehicles in terms of lithium battery heating and cooling systems. 

The choice of the right solution depends on a number of factors, such as the type of vehicle, its intended use, the voltage of the battery pack, the climate and the amount of mass production planned. 

It is therefore important to carefully study the operational requirements of the application to determine the most appropriate solution. 

Conclusion

Effective thermal management is critical to keep your lithium battery pack operating at its maximum capacity. If the battery is at a temperature outside the optimal operating range, this can lead to decreased performance and reduced battery life. In addition, if the battery gets too hot, it can increase the safety risk. 

It is therefore important to choose the right thermal management system for your battery, which can include heating and cooling depending on the needs of the application. In this way, you can ensure that the battery operates correctly and with maximum energy efficiency, which in turn will prolong its service life and improve its safety.

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Manufacturer of Lithium Batteries in Spain?.

If you are a light commercial vehicle or utility vehicle manufacturer and want to know more about our lithium solutions. Ask us for an assessment of your situation and we will be in touch shortly.

NCPOWER System

LifePo4 Lithium Batteries manufactured with our own battery management system, the NCPOWER System. The most profitable, efficient, safe and high performance batteries on the Spanish market.

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