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Vermont Electric Vehicle Demonstration Project
Submitted to Northeast Alternative Vehicle Consortium 112 South Street, Fourth Floor Boston, MA 02111 And Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency by
Vermont Electric Vehicle Demonstration Project Agency of Natural Resources 103 South Main Street, No. 3 South Waterbury, VT 05671-0402
September 20, 1999 Agreement No. NAVC1096-PG009524
Prepared By M. J. Bradley & Associates 47 Junction Square Drive Concord, MA 01742
Table of Contents
1.0 Introduction 1.1 The Advanced Battery Management and Technology Project 1.2 Problem Statement of the ABMTP 1.3 EVermont Vehicles 2.0 Battery and APU Technology 2.1 Advanced Battery Design 2.2 Auxiliary Power Units 3.0 Battery Testing 3.1 Bench Testing of Ovonics NiMH Batteries 3.2 Laboratory Bench Testing at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell, MA 3.3 Battery Box Design 3.4 NiMH Finite Element Model 4.0 Battery Thermal Management System 4.1 BTMS Design 4.2 BTMS Design Testing – Cold Chamber 4.3 BTMS Design Testing – Warm Weather 5.0 Vehicle On Road Test Evaluations 5.1 Data Acquisition System 5.2 EVermont On-Road Field Test Course 5.3 EVermont NiMH Baseline Vehicle, EV13, 1997 5.4 HydroQuebec Vehicle Testing, EVHQ, Summer 1998 5.5 EVermont EV15 Vehicle Testing, Winter 1999 5.6 EV1, Solectria E-10 Hybrid Truck 5.7 Summer Testing July 1999 6.0 Conclusions and Recommendations 6.1 Cabin Thermal Management 6.2 NiMH Vehicle Performance 6.3 Battery Thermal Management 6.4 APU Integration 6.5 Battery Thermal Management System Model
EVermont wishes to thank the many sub-contractors, companies and individuals that provided assistance to this project. Kevin Bracey Corie Dunn Tom Horn Tom Franks Lois Jackson Mary Morrison Steve Miracle Lauren Scharfman Bill Conn Jean-François Morneau Denis Parent Serge Roy Denis Laurin Tom Balon Paul Moynihan Amy Stillings Joe Gagliano Greg Wight Andrew Heafitz Richardo Espinosa Phil Girton Agency of Natural Resources Agency of Natural Resources Atlantic Center for the Environment Department of Public Service Department of Public Service Department of Public Service EVermont EVermont Green Mountain Power Hydro Quebec Hydro Quebec Hydro Quebec Hydro Quebec M.J. Bradley & Associates M.J. Bradley & Associates M.J. Bradley & Associates M.J. Bradley & Associates Norwich University Solectria Solectria Vermont Monitoring Cooperative
Thank you all for your hard work, research and support and most of all your enthusiasm for electric vehicle research and technology. A special thank you to Sheila Lynch, Tom Webb and Lisa Callaghan at NAVC and Robert Rosenfeld and DARPA for funding and supporting this important work.
Richard Watts Project Director, EVermont
Harold Garabedian Research and Testing Director, EVermont
EVermont Technical Reports
The following reports are available for $25.00 each. Checks should be sent in advance and be made payable to EVermont, c/o Agency of Natural Resources, Building 3 South, 10 South Main Street, Waterbury, VT 05671-0402. Thermal Measurements and Analysis of the 1995 Solectria Force (Paul Richmond - CRREL) Effect of Winter Conditions on Power Consumption (Deborah Diemand/Jesse Stanley - CRREL) Electric Vehicle Traction and Rolling Resistance in Winter (Sally Shoop - CRREL) Traction and Handling Performance of an Electric Vehicle in Winter Environment (Sally Shoop CRREL and Harold Garabedian - Vermont DEC) Thermal Windshield and Foam Insulation Report (Harold Garabedian - Vermont DEC) Electric Vehicle Thermal Management - EVermont Test Results (Harold Garabedian testimony before the Massachusetts State Legislature) Solectria Sunrise Thermal Analysis (Harold Garabedian - Vermont DEC) Northeast Advanced Thermal Management Technology Project - Executive Summary State of the Art Electric Vehicle Cold Weather Range (Harold Garabedian - Vermont DEC and Andrew Heafitz - Solectria Corp.) Baseline Performance of a Nickel Hydride Powered EV Operating in Vermont (Harold Garabedian - Vermont DEC, Ricardo Espinosa - Solectria, Nick Karditsas - Ovonic Battery Corp., and Stephen Brennan - GM-Ovonic) Thermal Efficiency Tests and Analysis of an Electric Bus in Portland, Maine; John Duffy, Professor, Mechanical Engineering, University of Massachusetts Lowell, January 1997. Modification of Greater Portland Transit District Battery-Powered Electric Bus; EVermont, February 1997. Electric Vehicle Noise: A Report on a Study Conducted at Norwich University; Gregory D. Wight, P.E., Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering, March 1997. Monitoring EV’s in Florida’s Environment; William Young, Florida Solar Energy Center.
1.1 The Advanced Battery Management and Technology Project Claims that electric vehicles cannot be deployed in cold climates are without a doubt misleading statements when the development and testing completed by EVermont over the last several years is considered. EVermont is committed to the successful cold weather development and deployment of electric and alternative fueled vehicles and has deployed a significant number of electric light duty vehicles and one hybrid vehicle in the state of Vermont. This work has primarily centered on cabin and battery thermal management technologies, their implementation as well as their successful deployment.
Figure 1: NiMH Solectria Force, EVermont “EV13”
EVermont has taken their extensive body of experience in the thermal management of lead-acid batteries and applied that knowledge to the thermal management needs of the advanced nickel metal-hydride (NiMH) battery technology developed by the Ovonic Battery Company (OBC). EVermont was an early adopter of the NiMH technology in the form of an Ovonic battery equipped Solectria Force vehicle. This vehicle, green in color, was registered under Vermont plate number “EV13” and was tested along side other EVermont lead-acid vehicles under EVermont’s previous Northern Region Thermal Management Technology Project (NRTMTP), contract NAVC1095-PG009521. EVermont and the Northeast Alternative Vehicle Consortium (NAVC) are applying this experience in the Advanced Battery Management and Technology Project (ABMTP), contract NAVC1096-PG009524. The primary goal of the project was to identify and develop a successful all-climate design for a NiMH battery thermal management system for application in commercial and military vehicles. The project also investigated the application of an auxiliary power unit (APU) as a vehicle thermal management system. The NAVC funded this project through the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Electric and Hybrid Electric Vehicle Technology Program.
1.1.1 Major Findings from Previous Projects
The major findings of previous EVermont projects that are relevant for this project are: (1) For cold weather operation, a 5 kW coolant heater provided the best cabin heating performance for the light-duty Solectria Force passenger car, (2) there was measured heat loss through the battery enclosures, (3) for lead-acid batteries, an insulated battery box successfully helped the batteries retain heat until the vehicle is recharged, (4) for lead-acid batteries, cooling fans were sufficient to maintain maximum temperatures below critical temperature levels,
(5) a Solectria Force with non-thermally managed NiMH batteries retained nearly 65% of its warm weather range, similar to that of a thermally managed lead-acid vehicle, (6) 20-30% of the cold weather range reduction was due primarily to vehicle friction losses (i.e., increased road losses). In order to address several additional electric vehicle cold weather thermal management challenges, EVermont, in the NRTMTP, continued to develop and evaluate light-duty electric vehicle thermal management technologies in four areas: HVAC system improvements, improved battery enclosure thermal management, advanced lead-acid battery cold and warm weather performance and noise testing.
1.1.2 Battery Thermal Management Requirements
The factors that affect the range of an electric vehicle in cold weather can be divided into two categories: (1) those affecting the on-road energy consumption of the vehicle and (2) those that affect the energy capacity of the battery. Of the factors that affect on-road energy consumption, the HVAC system electrical load, tire rolling resistance and lubricant viscosity are elements that can be influenced from the standpoint of a conversion electric vehicle. Auxiliary electrical loads, such as windshield wipers and headlights and tail lights, are for the most part fixed parameters. Vehicle aerodynamics are also primarily a fixed parameter, however they can be altered to a certain degree by the installation of air dams and louvers on the vehicle. Increased air density at colder temperatures and rolling losses due to snow and slush on the road are uncontrollable factors and affect both electric and conventional vehicle performance adversely. With respect to the energy capacity of the battery, battery thermal effects at cold temperatures can be enhanced to some degree in conversion electric vehicles. 1.2 Problem Statement of the ABMTP Widespread deployment of electric and hybrid-electric vehicles depends on successfully addressing both electric vehicle (EV) range and passenger comfort demands in hot and cold temperature extremes. As seen in NRTMTP, a NiMH battery powered car will retain 65% of its warm weather range compared to a non-thermally managed lead-acid electric vehicle which retains only 20% when operated in the same cold environment. This led to assertions that the NiMH battery technology is cold weather resistant and does not need or would not benefit from thermal management of the battery modules. However, prior EVermont testing had indicated that a conventional ICE vehicle suffers only a 20% decrement in fuel economy and retains nearly 80% of its warm weather range. Experience indicates that these losses, 20% typically, are primarily related to greater lubricant viscosity, higher air density, reduced tire operating temperature and road losses such as snow. However, since the mechanical drive system of both the ICE vehicle and the NiMH vehicle are similar (differential, axles, tires and wheel bearings) one would expect that an electric vehicle should be capable of achieving 80% of its warm weather range in cold weather. Hence, one of the objectives of ABMTP is to design a battery thermal management system for a NiMH battery powered EV that will perform at the same level as an ICE vehicle during cold weather operation. Continuing upon previous experiences with lead-acid battery powered vehicles, an additional objective was to determine whether the installation of an APU in a Solectria E-10 pickup could also achieve extended EV range and meet cabin heating demands during cold temperature operation. This objective would explore the problem of how to heat the cabin with the greatest efficiency and the trade-off in fuel efficiency with battery energy. .
EV10 (EVT Control)
EV11 (CVPS Car)
EV1 (EVT Truck)
EV9 (GMP Car)
EV12 (EVT Control)
EV5 (VY Truck)
EV14 (Delco Force)
EV17 (96 PEPCO Truck)
Project Test Vehicles
EV-7 started with 21,000 miles. All other vehicles represent actual miles. Aug. data was not available for EV2, EV3, EV5, EV10, EV11, EV12, EV17 and EV18
This project tested three Solectria Force NiMH vehicles referred to as “EV13”, “EVHQ” and “EV15”, as well as one modified lead-acid Solectria truck referred to as “EV1”. These designations are a result of the Vermont license plate numbers for each vehicle.
22.214.171.124 EV13, Solectria Force
EV13 is a 1995 Solectria Force with the following equipment: auxiliary fuel-fired heat, standard electric heat, non-insulated warm weather battery thermal management, standard preheat, one 220 volt charger, light weight air conditioning and Ovonic NiMH batteries. Since it was delivered in late 1996, EV13 has accrued 21,632 miles (as of July 20, 1999). EV13 is powered by 15 Ovonic NiMH battery modules with a nominal voltage of 198 volts and 85Ah. Six of the battery modules are located in the front battery box while the remaining nine modules are located in the rear battery box. The total weight of the batteries is about 587 pounds (267 kg). The pack has a total energy capacity of 17 kWh providing a useful range of about 85 miles.
Figure 3: GM Ovonic 85Ah NiMH Battery Modules
The 85 Ah Ovonic NiMH, battery pack in EV13 utilizes a warm weather BTMS that does not optimize for cold weather operation. This means that the battery boxes are fairly open to atmosphere and battery temperatures remain at ambient when the vehicle is not in operation. This car was used as a baseline NiMH thermal management vehicle, against which the remaining two cars with refined cold weather thermal management systems were judged. EV13 maintained roughly 65% of its warm weather range when operated at temperatures below 15°C. Data collected from the baseline NiMH powered vehicles indicated that non-thermally
EV18 (96 PEPCO Truck)
EV15 (98 GP Force)
EV16 (96 NYPA Force)
EV2 (GMP Truck)
EV13 (NiMH Force)
1.3 EVermont Vehicles EVermont continues to deploy numerous electric vehicles in Vermont. EVermont vehicles have accrued over 150,000 miles of in service and testing miles. Figure 2 illustrates the accrued mileage for each EVermont vehicle since July of 1996. Of particular interest are the two NiMH vehicles, EV13 (with over 21,000 miles) and EV15 (8,500 miles) tested under this program and EVermont’s hybrid truck, EV1 (with 15,000 miles). The total accumulative mileage for the three NiMH vehicles is 36,000 miles over the two-year study period.
Figure 2: EVermont Vehicle Fleet Mileage
July-96 25000 November-96 July-97 November-97 July-98 November-98 April-99 Aug-99
15000 Miles 10000 5000 0
EV7 (EVT Car)
managed NiMH batteries can Figure 4: NiMH Battery Pack Voltage vs. Temperature provide near design capacity energy, even in cold conditions NiMH Powered Solectria Force Traction Battery Voltage (-22°C), however total battery Under Two Ambient Conditions 240.0 For The Same 65 Mile Test Course voltage is suppressed (9.2%) 230.0 and total voltage fluctuation is increased (40.2%). Within the 220.0 pack, individual modules 210.0 experience a 30.3% increase in 200.0 the difference between the 190.0 voltage of the module with the highest charge vs. that with the 180.0 lowest. This depression of total 170.0 pack voltage resulting from the 160.0 fluctuations in the state-of0 500 1000 1500 2000 2500 3000 3500 charge of individual cells can Time, Seconds X 2 be deleterious to battery Total Volts: 58 F Total Volts: -7 F performance and life. Note that the battery compartment of the baseline vehicle was designed to reject heat generated by NiMH batteries operating in warm/hot climates, and no modifications were employed for cold-weather battery thermal management. Technologies and strategies to improve NiMH battery performance should account for the full range of temperatures and climates in which these batteries may operate. It is imperative that research be continued to integrate battery thermal management systems into NiMH vehicles, which address a wide range of operating climates. These types of systems will insure the reliability of NiMH batteries as an energy source for EV operation.
Figure 5: EVHQ GP NiMH Solectria Force 126.96.36.199 EVHQ, Solectria Force
Traction Battery Voltage, Volts
EVHQ is a 1997 Solectria Force. Since it was delivered in February 1998, EVHQ has accrued 5,734 miles. This vehicle has been testing in Quebec in warm weather under controlled route conditions. For cold weather operation this vehicle was also tested within a cold chamber at the Laboratoire des Technologies Electrochimiques et des Electrotechnologies d’HydroQuebec (LTEE) test lab in Shawinigan (Quebec) Canada. A complete report with respect to this testing is available as a separate report independent of this document. A summary of the conclusions from the report is provided in later sections of this report. This vehicle is outfitted with a refined BTMS design, optimized for both warm and cold weather. This new BTMS system includes additional insulation and reduced airflow to aid in the retention of heat generated by the batteries. This vehicle is equipped with revised battery boxes which contain insulation and are also equipped with plugs to partially close off the ventilation holes. This allows for ventilation of the battery pack so that on-road operation does not result in 9/20/99 4
significant induced ventilation of the battery pack. For summer operation the plugs can be removed if necessary. This vehicle is equipped with cabin preheat and a fuel-fired heater (4,000 watt) but no air conditioning. EVHQ is powered by 15 Gold Peak GP NiMH battery modules (Ovonic license) with a nominal voltage of 180 volts and 90Ah. As with EV13, six of the battery modules are located in the front battery box while the remaining nine modules are located in the rear battery box.
188.8.131.52 EV15, Solectria Force
Figure 6: GP NiMH Battery Module
EV15 is a 1997 Solectria Force. Since it was delivered on November 25, 1998, EV15 has accrued 8,466 miles. This vehicle was tested in both cold and warm weather in Vermont. The battery box design is similar to that of the EVHQ vehicle, however the insulation and the plug size has been optimized for cold weather operation. This vehicle is equipped with cabin preheat and a fuel-fired heater. Like EVHQ, EV15 is powered by 15 Gold Peak GP NiMH battery modules (Ovonic license) with a Figure 7: EV15 GP NiMH Solectria Force nominal voltage of 180 volts and 90Ah. As with EV13, six of the battery modules are located in the front battery box while the remaining nine modules are located in the rear battery box. In addition to the refined BTMS design, the third NiMH vehicle is equipped with a high current controller to increase the torque speed envelope of the Solectria Force by 30% for driving on hilly and high-speed roads. As in the other vehicles the controller had three forward settings, economy, normal and power, which allowed the vehicle to be operated both at high power and at a reduced level (normal) that will be consistent with the power setting of the first two vehicles. EV15 was entered by EVermont and Solectria into the 11th annual Northeast Sustainable Energy Association’s American Tour de Sol in May 1999. The vehicle captured first place overall in points for the weeklong, real-world performance testing of nearly fifty electric vehicles. EV15 scored well for its efficiency, reliability, acceleration, handling and consumer acceptability. Also the vehicle traveled 142 miles on a single charge during the tour.
Table 1: NiMH Program Vehicles Summary
NiMH #1, EV13 Operator Operating Environment Battery Pack Battery Manufacturer BTMS Drive system
NiMH #2, EVHQ Hydro Quebec Canada 90Ah NiMH, 180 Volt Gold Peak Restricted air flow 42kW, Single speed
NiMH #3, EV15 EVermont Vermont 90Ah NiMH, 180 Volt Gold Peak Restricted air flow 55kW, Single Speed
EVermont Vermont 85Ah NiMH, 198 Volt Ovonic Open air fan cooled 42kW, Single speed
EV1, Solectria E10 Pickup Truck
This vehicle is a 1994 Solectria E10 pickup truck, which was purchased from Solectria by another company and subsequently acquired and used by EVermont. This vehicle previously participated in NRTMTP. This vehicle, operated with lead-acid batteries, was chosen to have an APU installed to test cabin thermal Figure 8: EVermont EV1 Solectria E-10 management and range performance. This vehicle was originally equipped with three strings of leadacid batteries. Each string was comprised of 12 modules in series for a total operating voltage of 156 volts. Two of the battery strings are located in battery boxes below the rear pickup bed and the third battery string was located in the engine compartment. To facilitate the installation of the APU the battery box in the engine compartment was removed. While this did not affect the battery voltage of the vehicle, it did decrease the energy capacity of the vehicle by one third. This vehicle is currently equipped with 24 group 22 gel-cell batteries. Each battery has a nominal voltage of 13 volts and a nominal capacity of 33.5 Ah when discharged at a C/1 (depleted over a one-hour period) average discharge rate. As the pack is generally depleted in less than one hour a capacity of about 30 Ah is used. This yields a total pack capacity of about 9.4 kWh with two strings versus a total previous pack capacity of 14 kWh with the three strings.
2.0 Battery and APU Technology
The United States Advanced Battery Consortium (USABC) identified mid-term, commercialization and long-term goals for advanced batteries, shown in Table 2.
Table 2: Performance Characteristics for Advanced Batteries Specific Energy (Whr/kg) 80 150 200 90 120 150 Specific Power (W/kg) 15 300 400 300 300 315 Cost ($/kWhr) < 150 < 150 < 100 250 300 < 250
Life Cycle USABC Goals Mid-term Commercialization Long-term CARB Estimates for 2003 NiMH Li-Ion Li-Poly 600 1,000 1,000 1,000 1,000 1,000
Source: CARB, 1998 Zero-Emission Vehicle Biennial Program Review, July 1998
2.1 Advanced Battery Design The EVermont project team members considered a number of potential advanced battery technologies to test and evaluate in cold climates. The project team’s investigation into battery technologies revealed that given the current state of battery technology and commercialization, the only new near-term battery technologies that were realistic candidates for consideration in this project were advanced lead-acid and NiMH batteries. NiCd batteries were considered to already be a proven technology. Table 2 provides an overview of these batteries.
2.1.1 Advanced Nickel Metal-Hydride Batteries
NiMH batteries have been available in consumer electronics for several years, but only recently available in sizes suitable for electric vehicles. Ovonics Battery Company (OBC) reported that the NiMH battery provides three times the energy density, an energy to weight ratio, of a leadacid battery. Additionally the cycle life is expected to be at least twice that of lead-acid batteries. While the lead-acid battery performance decreases considerably in cold weather, NiMH batteries are more sensitive to high temperatures. The primary disadvantages of NiMH batteries are that the batteries typically require an active battery energy management system and to date they have been produced in limited quantities. Both of these factors contribute to a very high cost for the battery pack ($45,000), a cost high enough to be unattractive for all applications except where performance is at a premium. However, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) predicts that NiMH batteries will be in production quantities (greater than 10,000 batteries per year) by 2003 which may reduce future production costs. Table 4 compares the production modules’ specifications and performance as provided from the manufacturers for the two NiMH batteries used in this study.
Table 3: Comparison of Advanced Lead-Acid and Nickel Based Batteries Sonnenschien Lead-acid 50 156 50 7.8 400 20,000 None $1,500 $0.075 No None Battery warming needed Ovonic Battery Company Nickel Metal-hydride 100 184 / 198 85 15.6 / 16.8 1,000 100,000 3 year $45,000 $0.450 Yes (DAQ) None (Data reporting) Good without warming 1 100% Saft Advanced Nickel-Cadmium 100 168 100 16.8 2,000 200,000 4 year / 25,000 miles $14,000 $0.070 No Distilled water - single point every 6,000 miles Very good without warming 4-5 100%
Range (miles) Voltage (Volts) Capacity (Ah) (kWh) Estimated Life (cycles) Estimated Life (miles) Warranty Cost Energy storage (cost/mile) Data acquisition and control Maintenance Cold weather
Experience in 3-4 production (years) Recycling 100% Source: Solectria Corporation, 1997
Table 4: Ovonic and GP Battery Production Module Specifications and Performance NiMH Manufacturer Nominal Voltage (Volts) Number of Cells Nominal Capacity (Ah) Nominal Energy (kWh) Specific Energy (Wh/kg) Energy Density (Wh/liter) Dimensions (mm) Weight (kg) Life Cycle Ovonics 13.2 11 85 1.2 70 165 102 x 176 x 409 18.2 > 600 GP 12 10 90 1.08 70 170 102 x 186 x 388 17.8 > 600
Source: GM Ovonics and GP Batteries International
2.2 Auxiliary Power Units During the first year of the electric vehicle testing in Vermont, it was discovered that heating the passenger compartment of an electric vehicle was a major obstacle to successful winter operation. Electric resistance heaters, though light and inexpensive, proved to be too large a load on the already overburdened batteries. Efforts to reduce the quantity of heat required, through the use of 9/20/99
seat heaters, air recirculation and vehicle insulation, were experimented with. While some of these methods did improve the effective performance of the electric heaters, window fogging and reduced range persisted. In the end, burning fuel in an efficient heater was chosen as the most practical solution to the problem. Even though we had a working solution to the EV heating problem, there was still a significant reduction in vehicle range on very cold days. Our project team was compelled with the idea of capturing the expansion energy of the heated air in the cabin heater and using it to create a supplemental source of electric energy that could be used to offset this reduction in range. Thus was born the idea of creating a “hybrid” vehicle which would burn fuel, primarily for the creation of heat, while at the same time, extend the vehicle range to that expected at warmer temperatures. This would be, by definition, a “co-generation” project, trading the unlimited continuous extended range that could be obtained by installing a larger “auxiliary power unit” opting for a unit that would provide just enough heat to the cabin.
2.2.1 Combustion Engines
The burning of fossil fuel (gasoline, diesel, etc.) in an ICE provides significant waste heat energy, which can be used to heat the vehicle, as well as, generate electricity, extending the EV range. The problems associated with an ICE’s use as an APU are the emissions from combustion and the noise generated by a typical reciprocating ICE. Most of the prime movers available at the optimal ~5kW size were either carburetor gasoline engines or injected diesel engines. Neither engine would maintain the low emission/noise standard that an EV offered in pure electric form. Even with further emission reductions, accomplished by equipping the ICE to burn propane or natural gas, the unit would still produce the “lawn mower in the trunk” effect due to the excessive vibration and exhaust noise inherent to this type of engine. Nonetheless, a small unit operating at low rpm and located in the bed of a pickup truck was assumed to be easily integrated and fairly unobtrusive.
184.108.40.206 Prime Movers
There were several prime movers which, when coupled to an appropriate alternator, were identified as being able to provide the desired results. The first engine the team reviewed was a 1100 cc BMW motorcycle engine. This powerplant utilized the best fuel management system currently available on IC motorcycle engines, as well as a three way catalytic converter in the exhaust. It is a smooth running four-cylinder water-cooled engine, currently available and could be coupled to a generator/alternator. Shortcomings include its relatively large size and weight (which exceeds the 200 lb target), use of gasoline as a fuel and excess power capacity. The generating capacity of this engine is in excess of 30 kW at full power. Fisher Electric Technologies indicated that they could couple an efficient, permanent magnet generator to it and possibly provide a controller. However, the team concluded that this type of engine would be far oversized for the job. The second possibility was the use of a rotary-type engine. An engine of this type possesses a very good power to weight ratio and generally produces lower emissions than a similar size reciprocating engine. This unit’s smaller size when coupled to an alternator provides for a very compact APU. There are several four stroke gasoline engines available from the small engine manufacturing divisions of Honda and Kawasaki. The Honda units are generally sold as complete motor generator sets providing AC voltage for residential and commercial use. The Solectria pickup operates at a nominal 144 Volts and is not amenable to this type of generator unless it is used to supply the onboard battery charger limiting output and incurring additional transfer losses. 9/20/99
Several conversations with Fisher Electric Technology provided information on a general purpose Kawasaki four stroke gasoline engine that Fisher was familiar with. This unit is rated at 20 hp, is fairly compact, readily available and relatively inexpensive (~$1,500 for the engine).
220.127.116.11 Prime Receivers
Fisher Electric Technology in St. Petersburg, Florida, was the prime candidate for a supplier of an efficient DC alternator. This company produces permanent magnet motors and generators and has experience in the electric vehicle industry. While they offered to create a custom built alternator to match any prime mover the project team sent them, the team was specifically interested in the previously mentioned Kawasaki engine with which they were familiar. This company also had a working relationship with Moller International and was interested in producing an alternator for the BETA 2 engine. At the time of the discussion, Fisher had supplied more than two dozen alternators for use in hybrid electric vehicles. The advantage to a DC alternator is that it can be tied in directly between the battery controller and the batteries providing power to either charge the batteries or supply power directly to the motor.
2.2.2 Integration of APU Figure 9: EVermont EV1 Solectria E-10
Once our goal was established, we began the process of choosing a power unit, with an ICE determined as the best choice. ICE options ranged from an aircooled Briggs and Stratton to a liquid cooled BMW motorcycle engine. We knew that a liquid cooled engine would be quieter and enable us to efficiently transfer heat into the vehicle. We also knew that it would take about 5,000 watts of waste heat from the engine to heat the vehicle. If half
Figure 10: Kawasaki FD620D, Fisher A7/28AF
of the waste heat energy from an ICE goes out the exhaust, we would need an engine that produced about 10,000 watts of total waste heat. This size engine would also produce about 2,500 watts of mechanical energy. Our goal for a successful cogeneration / hybrid was to heat the vehicle while offsetting the 20% cold weather range reduction. This range reduction translates into about 1,200 watts. We either had to extract additional waste heat from the APU exhaust or go with a greater generating capacity than we really needed.
Investigation of commercially available APUs resulted in the purchase of a Fisher alternator mated to a Kawasaki four-stroke gasoline engine. The Kawasaki FD620D 617cc engine is rated at 20 hp maximum with 16 hp available at 2700 rpm. This operating rpm corresponds to the lowest specific fuel consumption for this engine. The unit is coupled to a Fisher model A7/28AF brushless alternator rated at 10 kW (~70 amps) output at 144 volts and 2700 rpm. The total weight of the system is approximately 130lb (30lb for the alternator, the remainder for the engine, fluids and connections). It was clear that this power unit was much larger than what we had initially set out to install, but the potential for further extending the vehicle range along with the quality and efficiency of the Fisher products enticed Figure 11: EV1 Lift Bed us to choose this path. Based on the system mechanical output approximately 25,000 watts of useful heat energy would be available from this unit at full power.
2.2.3 Physical Integration
The physical dimensions and weight of the unit drove the physical integration of the APU into the vehicle. We had originally intended to mount the unit along with the fuel tank in the bed of the truck. Because of the need to lift the bed of an E 10 truck in order to access the controllers and batteries, the bed would have required extensive modification. This location also would have required long hoses to the vehicle heater core, which would have led to excessive heat loss. The idea of removing the front batteries and associated box (the vehicle originally had front and rear battery boxes), and installing the power unit under the hood emerged as the most sensible solution. This reduced the battery storage capacity by 1/3 (the vehicle originally had three parallel strings so voltage remained the same), but if the range reduction became an issue, these batteries could be re-installed in the rear of the vehicle. The APU would now have to overcome a 47% loss to return winter range to summer Figure 12: EV1 Rear Battery Box capacity. Taking into account the removal of the front twelve batteries and their enclosure, the installation of this power unit has created a total vehicle weight reduction of over 100 pounds. The APU installation in the engine compartment of the truck was fairly straightforward. A steel frame was fabricated which was mounted to the vehicle frame via rubber mounts. To this frame was mounted the power unit and the radiator assembly. The belt driven cooling fan was replaced with an electric unit and a dual
thermostat assembly was created. The heater core is supplied with hot water by the opening of the first thermostat at 180°F. The second thermostat controls flow to the radiator and opens at 195°F. The engine contains a mechanical coolant circulation pump that is capable of providing an adequate flow to the heater core. No heat regulation valves are presently installed in this system but one may be added in the hose to the heater core for summer operation. Included with the Kawasaki engine is a built in alternator that has been coupled to the vehicles 12-volt system to provide redundancy for the DC to DC converter. In order to utilize this layout, a diode was installed on the output side of the DC to DC converter to protect it from any voltage fluctuations that might be produced by the alternator. The factory Figure 13: APU Installed in Engine Compartment installed starter motor is used to crank the Kawasaki engine and a small battery has been added to the 12-volt system in order to satisfy the surge of current required by the starter. An automatic (electric) fuel enrichment device has been installed on the APU carburetor to facilitate cold starts. A 15-gallon fuel tank has been mounted under the cab, between the frame rails (transmission tunnel), and its filler pipe runs up to the right front inner fender well. The hood must be opened in order to add fuel but this was determined to be an acceptable compromise. A charcoal canister has been installed in order to absorb fuel tank vapors. This canister has a simple evacuation system, which consists of a small hose connected to the intake manifold of the engine. We found that a solenoid control system was not necessary for acceptable idle quality because of the small size of this hose and the moderate rpm operation of the APU. The engine possesses an internal Figure 14: Fisher AC/DC Converter flyweight type throttle control that is presently attached to the vehicle accelerator pedal. This setup increases alternator output as increased current flow to the drive motors is called for. The exhaust system begins with a header pipe going down to a section of flexible pipe with a connection flange on the bottom. From there, the exhaust passes through a catalytic converter and two mufflers before leaving the vehicle at the rear bumper. The unit’s ignition switch is mounted on the center console and is run in series with the vehicle ignition switch. The starter motor is then engaged by turning the ignition switch to the crank position.
APU instrumentation in the instrument cluster includes fuel level, oil pressure, water temperature and DC volts (12-volt system). Solectria instruments located in the center console include battery pack volts, current and a state of charge (Ah) meter. Additional instruments in the center console include power unit output current, Fisher alternator and vehicle battery temperatures, manifold vacuum, hour meter and a tachometer. The Solectria installed electric power steering and brake vacuum pump has been retained along with an Espar kerosene burning air heater. The General Motors anti lock brake system was disabled during Solectria conversion of the vehicle. Removing this unit saved 23 pounds and freed up valuable space under the hood. The electric interface between the Solectria drive system and the APU is between the battery connection to the motor controllers via a three-phase rectifier that converts the alternating APU output to DC current. This means that any power produced by the alternator will flow directly into the controllers or the batteries depending on which has the lowest potential. Initial testing indicated that a problem could occur with this set up that results from the APU being operated while generating current via regenerative braking with the batteries fully charged. This produces excessively high voltage and the Figure 15: Completion of APU Installation controllers drop off line. Cycling the drive selector switch through the off position will reset the controllers but this situation needs to be avoided. We have come up with three ways to prevent this occurrence. First, do not run the APU with the batteries fully charged. This should always be observed so as to avoid overcharging but precludes the option of warming the cabin on a cold morning. Second, operate the electric heater while the engine is running. This will absorb excess energy and prevent over-voltage. Third, switch off the regenerative brakes. Two other problems associated with this installation were vibration and noise. These were predictable and by no means a surprise. Both have been addressed and significant improvements have been made. The power steering assembly was originally attached to the engine-mounting frame. The location and mass of this assembly produced a harmonic vibration that was unacceptable. Relocating this from the frame to the vehicle chassis eliminated this portion of the problem. Modifications to the engine mounts were also necessary to further reduce vibrations being transmitted into the frame of the vehicle by the APU itself. The exhaust system was originally assembled with one muffler. The sound level emanating from this system was excessive. An extension was added to the pipe and a second muffler was hung on the outside of the frame rail near the rear of the bed. This effectively reduced the exhaust noise to an acceptable level.
3.0 Battery Testing
3.1 Bench Testing of Ovonics NiMH Batteries NiMH battery capacity is significantly less susceptible to low temperatures than lead-acid batteries. Lead-acid batteries typically suffer about a 50% reduction in discharge capacity withdrawn at a C/3 rate when battery temperatures drop below freezing. NiMH batteries on the other hand can deliver 80% or more of their rated capacity at 0°F. Below 0°F increased internal resistance of the NiMH batteries does result in more significant decreases in capacity. NiMH batteries are however more susceptible to high operating temperatures than their lead-acid counterparts and as such any thermal management system which provides insulation to the batteries for extreme cold weather operation must compensate with additional cooling capabilities. It is estimated that repeated operation of NiMH batteries in excess of 40°C (104°F) will result in reduced cycle life, about 60% of specification. 3.2 Laboratory Bench Testing at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell, MA A 15-module pack of Ovonic NiMH electric vehicle batteries was purchased and evaluated at the UMASS Lowell battery evaluation laboratory. A total of 30 cycle tests were performed of each individual module. Moderate rate 20 amp cycles were performed at –20, 0, 20 and 40 degrees centigrade. Module voltage, current, impedance and temperature were measured at one-second intervals and average values were stored as time series files at three-minute intervals. Battery performance characteristics such as capacity, round trip efficiency, energy density, power density and heat dissipation were derived from the data. High rate 80 amp cycles were performed at –20 and 0 degrees centigrade. A final experiment was a 15-module pack test.
Figure 16: Average Capacity for Ovonic NiMH Battery
Average Battery Capacity
0 -20C 0C Degrees Centrigrade CC discharge Ah output Ah input 20C 40C
The battery pack delivered to UMASS Lowell consisted of 15, 11cell modules with nominal ratings of 13.2 volts and 85 Ah as provided by the manufacturer. The 11-cell NiMH module has roughly the same operating voltage range as a 12-volt lead-acid battery module comprised of 6 cells. At 20°C the average capacity value was approximately 87.75 Ah at a 20-amp discharge rate (this is approximately C/4). This capacity correlates well to the 89Ah average determined by Ovonic utilizing a C/3 rate. On a kWh basis the batteries had an average round trip efficiency of 83.5%.
Figure 17: Round Trip Efficiency for Ovonic NiMH Batteries
Round Trip Efficiency
0 -20C 0C Degrees Centigrade 20C 40C
Figures 16, 17, 18 and 19 show that the impedance and voltage were both optimized at 20°C, however these parameters were most impacted at -20°C. Discharge voltage was depressed at -20°C and further depressed at higher discharge currents. Generally speaking Ovonic NiMH batteries exhibited a loss of specific power (W/kg) at cold temperatures, however, specific energy (Wh/kg) capacity fell only a small amount. On the other hand at high temperatures
specific power was retained, however, total energy capacity began to fall off. This was in part due to higher selfdischarge rates (1.5% per day at 20°C) at higher temperatures. The results obtained at UMASS Lowell agreed well with the information provided by OBC. The testing identified an optimum operating temperature range of 0°C to 30°C for the Ovonic NiMH batteries. Above 40°C actual cycle life begins to fall off and above 60°C a failure is possible. Above 30°C energy capacity began to fall off to less than acceptable levels and below -10°C specific power fell off far enough to indicate vehicle performance
Figure 18: AC Impedance of Ovonic NiMH Batteries
7.5 Milliohms 7 6.5 6 -20C 0C Degrees Centigrade 20C 40C
Figure 19: Ovonic Battery Average Discharge Voltage
could be hampered. In summary, at temperatures above 30°C the NiMH batteries exhibit a drop in total Ah capacity and discharge voltage that results in a loss of kWh capacity and reduced range. At temperatures below 0°C the batteries generally maintain their Ah capacity but voltage is again depressed resulting in a loss of kWh capacity and reduced range. Optimum power and capacity are maintained between approximately 0°C and 30°C. Self-discharge is relatively high at 1.5% per day at
13.4 Volts 13.2 13 12.8 12.6 -20C 0C Degrees Centigrade 20C 40C
20°C, which increases dramatically with battery operating temperature. A complete report of the results from the ULowell testing is available as a separate report. The report is titled “Characterization of Ovonic Nickel Metal Hydride Electric Vehicle Batteries”, authored by Dr. Ziyad M. Salameh and Dr. William A. Lynch and completed August 1998. The report is 284 pages in length including all appendices. 3.3 Battery Box Design Because NiMH battery technology is generally exothermic, a conservation of energy approach has been taken in the application of passive technologies to retain heat with the battery compartments. These design modifications have been applied to maintain the batteries above the ambient temperature without the addition of an active heat source. The conservation technologies employed have been battery compartment insulation and reduction of battery box ventilation through the application of ‘proof of concept’ flow restrictors and ventilation system flapper valves. The addition of the insulation reduces conductive losses from the system, whereas the modifications to the ventilation systems are designed to reduce convective losses. Solectria considers the exact specification of the battery box for the Solectria Force confidential, however an overview of the design strategy is contained here. Each battery box was manufactured in aluminum to conserve weight. Ventilation holes were cut into the bottom of the battery box to allow for vertical ventilation and drainage should water enter the box. A plastic weather shield was located about one inch below each box to limit the amount of water intrusion. The battery box is lined with rigid insulation. The NiMH batteries were installed in plastic support frames that act as both insulators and spacers. Ventilation fans are located in the top of the box to draw cooling air through the pack. Round plugs with smaller holes are used to limit cooling airflow during winter operation. These plugs are easily removed for summer operation. The results of prior testing from EVermont’s NRTMTP project on different battery insulations, concluded that the choice of foam board alone would provide good heat retention during vehicle operation. In EV13 the battery boxes were left somewhat “open”, employing openings in the bottom of the battery boxes, which allowed intrinsic cooling of the batteries from airflow induced when the vehicle was in motion. Maximum heat exchange was achieved by narrowing the spacing between the battery modules such that the velocity of the cooling air was increased. Battery box modifications were pursued in the second project vehicle, EVHQ, to maintain the batteries at optimal temperature regardless of ambient temperature, design modifications were also made to the motor controller to overcome some of the side effects associated with the instability in battery operation. NiMH batteries experience a voltage ‘sag’ under high current load. This instability was exacerbated at cold temperature to the point where system controls to protect the controller from over current would come into play and disable controller operation. A microprocessor controlled data acquisition system (DAQ) monitored the temperatures and voltages of the battery modules to implement control strategy algorithms to maintain the batteries in the front and rear compartments at uniform and optimal temperatures. The voltages are used as safety limits to prevent the batteries from being overcharged or over discharged. Temperature sensors, two in each box, were monitored which the DAQ in turn uses to controls fans. The fans draw air through the front and rear battery boxes to keep the two boxes in equilibrium with each other by cooling the warmer of the two packs. The boxes themselves were designed internally to equalize the fans’ cooling effect on each battery. The DAQ also monitored the overall average temperature in the boxes and cooled the entire pack as appropriate.
3.4 NiMH Finite Element Model In addition to the areas of modifications (insulation and air restriction) initiated by Solectria Corporation on the battery boxes, there are a number of other governing parameters that influence the performance of the system. The construction of different prototypes corresponding to various configurations in order to test them for a design optimization purpose is a costly undertaking. An alternative to this kind of analysis is numerical modeling, which offers better flexibility and lower costs compared to prototype testing. The NiMH Finite Element Model focuses on the thermal modeling of the system rather than the study of parameter effects. The model is able to predict the velocity and temperature distributions inside both battery boxes (front and rear).
3.4.1 Results - Hot Case
The hot case corresponds theoretically to an ambient temperature of +20°C. In reality, the ambient temperature depends on time as temperature increased to +23°C by the end of the simulation. The comparison of the predicted temperature evolution with the experimental data collected (from the sensor located on module #2 in the front battery box) is shown in Figure 20. Close agreement is found between numerical and experimental results regardless the state of the fans. In fact, the model accurately predicts the temperature profile of the box. The average relative error is approximately 0.2% based on the Kelvin absolute temperature scale. Examination of the results for the rear box shows that the predictions are also in accordance with the experimental data. The average error is 0.19% for the left side (module #11) and 0.12% for the right side (module #14). The highest value of the absolute error in prediction is approximately 1.5°C.
Figure 20: Temperature Evolution in the Front Box (terminal #2)
30 Temperature [oC]
28 Monitoring Model 26
Laminar free Turbulent combined free and forced convection
20 0 600 1200 1800 Time [sec.] 2400 3000 3600
The results demonstrate that the simulation model describes with satisfactory accuracy the thermal behavior of the modules for the hot case even though the insulation is ignored in the simulation. This can be explained by the fact that when the fans are running, the insulation does not play a significant role, because the fans extract the heat generated by the modules from the boxes and the air is continuously renewed. In contrast, the effect of the insulation is expected to be strong if the fans are inactivated (Off position). However, the results show that there is no effect in this case. This result may be attributed to the fact that the fans were not running for the first 1,977 seconds (~33 minutes). Examination of the results concerning the front box reveal that the hottest region in the box is located in the core of module #2 (and module #5 by symmetry). Even though the fans are running, the corresponding temperature is as high as 303 K (30°C). It is interesting to mention here that the temperature at the location of the sensor is lower than that at the center of the module; the difference is approximately 2°C. In terms of the velocity distribution, the air movement underneath the modules seems to be quasi uniform because of the existence of the plenum. Similarly, the flow between the modules is quite homogeneous except for the air space at the front face of the box (between module #3 and the wall) where the velocity is less important than elsewhere. On the other hand, the mass of air on the top of the module #3 seems to be still. This is attributed to the vortex (flow recirculation) created by the ascendant and descendant flows. This phenomenon is not observed for the other modules since they are closer to the fan and the vortex cannot occur. In the rear box, the hottest modules are those located at the center (#10, #11, #12 and #14) and the most critical one seems to be the last one, module #14. This is a result of poor air circulation on the backside of this specific module. In this particular region, the fan is relatively far from the module, which favors free convection forces to drive the cooling air by density or temperature differences. It should be mentioned here that the heat transfer deteriorates when the convection mechanism changes from forced to free. Consequently, the temperature rises rapidly as the heat removal decreases.
3.4.2 Results - Cold Case
The cold case corresponds theoretically to an ambient temperature near -20°C. In reality, the ambient temperature depends on time as increased to –16.6°C by the end of the simulation. The comparison between the numerical predictions and the test data are presented for the front box in Figure 21. As shown, the modeled temperature diverged from the actual temperature over time by an increasing margin for the front battery box. This same result also occurred for the rear battery box. There are several variables that could result in the discrepancy between the monitored and modeled results, such as insulation and airflow. The effect of insulation on the temperature evolution was investigated for both boxes. Insulation of 10 mm thickness was added on each side of the box. The results of the insulation on the temperature evolution in the front box are shown in Figure 22. It should be noted here that similar simulations were performed on the rear box, but the results are not presented since they drive to the same conclusion: the insulation does not have a great impact on the temperature prediction. Indeed, the insulation decreases the temperature difference between the model and the experimental data by approximately 1°C. The second suspected parameter is the mass flow induced by free convection forces, as the fans did not function in the cold case. In reality, the flow at the inlets cannot be imposed since it depends on the order of magnitude of the free convection forces. In other words, the larger the temperature differences between the outlet and the inlet, the greater is the mass flow. Hence, as 9/20/99
Figure 21: Temperature Evolution in the Front Box (cold case)
0 -2 -4 -6 Temperature [oC] -8 -10 -12 -14 -16 -18 0 600 1200 1800 Time [sec.] 2400 3000 3600
Figure 22: Effects of the Insulation and the Plugs on the Temperature Evolution in the Front Box
0 -2 -4 oC] -6
Model 1: No insulation, no plugs Model 2: No insulation, with plugs Model 3: With insulation, with plugs
Monitoring -8 -10 -12 -14 -16 -18 0 600 1200 1800 Time [sec.] 2400 3000 3600 Model 1 Model 2 Model 3
the box temperature increases with time, the mass flow of air becomes more important. From the modeling standpoint, it is more realistic to compute this quantity than to impose it. Nevertheless, a negligible value representing the air flow through the inlets was imposed when the fans were not functioning to keep the model relatively simple. It is difficult to determine the exact amount of air crossing the box to impose it as a boundary condition at the inlets. The option corresponding to the imposed mass flow was chosen in the present study to minimize the complexity of the model and consequently the cost of the study. Now the question is: does the value of air mass flow imposed represent the reality? The issue does not arise when the fans are functioning because the driven flow is known (mass flow of the fans). When the fans are not functioning, the “No plugs’’ situation for the same test parameters was used as a reference case for the study of the mass flow effect. The results reported in Figure 22 reveal that the air mass flow has no effect on the temperature evolution. In order to confirm the modeled prediction, a comparison between the data collected as temperature evolution in the front box for the “No plugs’’ and the “With plugs’’ situations is displayed on Figure 23. The original curves show a constant difference of 3.75°C in average. The difference is mainly due to the temperature offset at the initial time. The original curve corresponding to the “With plugs’’ situation has been adjusted by subtracting the average difference (3.75°C), and the resulting curve reveals that the difference collapses. The slight remaining difference may be attributed to the range of precision of the sensors since the maximum difference is approximately 1°C. The same trend was observed for the rear box. Therefore, we can state with confidence that the air mass flow has no effect on the temperature evolution when the fans are not operating during the tests corresponding to the cold case. Consequently, the air mass flow imposed in the model is credible since it has no impact on the accuracy of solution according to the modeled results and the experimental data.
Figure 23: Comparison between the Case with and without Plugs for the Front Box
0 -2 -4 Temperature evolution [oC] -6 -8 -10 -12 -14 -16 -18 0 600 1200 1800 Time [sec.] 2400 3000 3600 No plugs-monitored With plugs-monitered With plugs-adjusted
The isotherm contour results show that the temperature distribution in this case is quite different in shape compared to the hot case. Contrary to the later case where the fans start working after approximately 33 minutes of running, the fans stay off during the entire simulation. Therefore, the flow of the air is induced by ascending forces associated with free convection as explained before. In this situation, the velocities involved are too low to generate a significant flow, which would reject the heat generated by the batteries outside the box. As a result, the heat is trapped inside and a relative uniform temperature distribution is observed through the batteries. A reverse trend is observed in the mass of air located on the top of the modules. In fact, the isotherm contour at this location is characterized by many regions presenting different temperatures (the difference could be as high as 4°C). This phenomenon is attributed to the nature of the air flow. As a consequence of free convection, the flow is disturbed and is characterized by many recirculating zones. The velocity reflects the complexity and the disturbance of the flow on the top of the batteries. This observation may be a key to understanding the disagreement between the model and the monitored data for the cold case. In fact, in this case the geometry details and location of the heat generation within the battery could change the entire velocity field and consequently, the thermal field as the two fields are coupled. This problem was not observed for the hot case as the flow is driven mechanically. Hence, the flow is less disturbed and the temperature distribution through the region in question is relatively uniform. Furthermore, when the fans are functioning the heat transfer is due to forced convection. In this case, the temperature does not interact with the velocity. These reasons could explain why the model’s accuracy is better for the hot case.
4.0 Battery Thermal Management System
4.1 BTMS Design A battery thermal management system (BTMS) for NiMH batteries was initially developed by Solectria and Ovonics to thermally manage the dual battery compartments of a Solectria Force. The system performed two major tasks: fan cooling of the batteries to dissipate heat generated during use, charging and self discharge, and balancing the temperatures in the front and rear boxes with each other, again by fan cooling the warmer of the two packs. No active heating was included in the design as NiMH batteries were perceived as cold weather resistant. All heating was provided by the charging and discharging of the batteries. In light of a design objective to maximize the energy capacity and power output of the NiMH battery pack in cold weather, Solectria designed several new improvements to the NiMH BTMS which was baselined using EV13. EVermont’s goal was to determine the reduction of battery management power loads and maximization of available battery capacity by selectively insulating and reducing airflow through the battery boxes in cold weather. These reduced power BTMS cars, EVHQ and EV15 were tested side by side with EV13 for comparison. Areas that the project observed to determine successful operation of the new design included: less frequent use of the cooling fans (i.e., less power consumption), better balancing of the battery temperatures, better temperature balance between the front and rear battery boxes, higher overall battery temperatures in cold weather (below the minimum fan operating points) and no battery overheating. The Solectria BTMS utilizes a combination of rigid insulation and an air gap to limit conductive heat loss to the ambient air and maintain uniform battery temperatures within the battery box. When necessary, battery cooling is provided by drawing air over the batteries using a small blower. Ambient air is drawn in, flows between the batteries and is then exhausted. If there is a temperature differential between the front and rear battery boxes the cooling fans are used to bring the warmer of the two boxes down to the temperature of the other box. This design basis controls battery temperature by all but eliminating conductive losses (insulation) and utilizing air to control battery temperature by convection. The existing system relied on both convection and conduction to remove heat from the batteries. The new system design relied more heavily on convection. By insulating the battery boxes with 0.25” to 1” of insulation, conduction heat losses were reduced. The primary method for heat removal from the batteries was the operation of the fans, drawing ambient air between the batteries. The main difference was that the batteries would retain heat from their exothermic chemical reactions much more effectively while the fans were off, increasing their overall operating temperature in cold weather. The fans would still have the ability to fully cool the batteries, but the batteries retained more heat in cold weather. The battery thermal characterization showed that a tight hysteretic control loop using one of the battery terminals for the feedback point was the best control algorithm. Solectria programmed two advanced BC1600 chargers with this algorithm and sent them to EVermont for installation in two of the cars. They have been in use, and anecdotal observations showed that energy use during charging had been reduced as an unexpected beneficial side effect. 4.2 BTMS Design Testing – Cold Chamber Following the on-road field study during the winter of 1996-1997, the EVHQ car was equipped with design modifications to minimize the effect of the cold on the NiMH batteries. The modifications were passive in nature and included better insulation of the battery compartments and the use of airflow restrictors in the compartment’s ventilation system. In order to validate the 9/20/99
efficiency of the design modifications that were undertaken, Jean-François Morneau of HydroQuebec’s Laboratoire des Technologies Électrochimiques et des Électrotechnologies (LTEE) in Canada was contracted to perform a series of controlled cold chamber NiMH vehicle tests. The LTEE Report for this testing, Evaluation of Cold Temperature Performance of a NiMH battery Powered E.V. is available as a separate document.
Figure 24: LTEE Cold Chamber
The EVHQ was installed in the cold chamber and a load bank consisting of eight resistors was used to apply a load profile to the batteries, simulating real driving conditions. The tests were made with two configurations (full flow through ventilation system and restricted flow conditions), at two temperatures (-20°C and 20°C). Each combination of temperature and configuration were performed three times, making a total of twelve tests.
The results obtained from these tests are very interesting and show that the modifications are efficient in maintaining battery performance in cold weather operation. After one test cycle, it was found that temperature tended to equilibrate to a temperature over 20°C (for the conditions used in the tests), and consequently the battery voltage response came very close to the ones observed in warm weather conditions. Also, the standard deviation of the highest and the lowest individual voltages was much lower than observed during the winter field study conducted by EVermont: 0.86V and 0.95V compared to an average of Figure 25: Resistive Load Bank 0.55V. With the BTMS modification, the results obtained tend to demonstrate that the design modification would be efficient for the regular use of the vehicle. Some care has to be taken in the analysis and the generalization of the results obtained in these tests. The results are directly dependent on the test conditions that were used. For instance, if longer test cycles or greater wind speed had been used, the results obtained would certainly be different. However, the same tendencies would have been observed (augmentation of mean battery temperatures and voltages). The important thing to remember from these tests, is that the heat generation of NiMH batteries is so great, that bringing the heat exchange between the battery compartments and the ambient environment to the minimum, will contribute to maintain battery performance. NiMH batteries would then have a big advantage over their competitors since no other thermal management
techniques, like the use of electric heaters, would be necessary. This passive type of thermal battery management is ideal since it uses wasted energy to maintain battery performance. The efficiency of the two modifications is however directly dependent on how the vehicle is used. In order to maintain temperature within the battery compartments at an optimum level, the EV has to be used on a regular basis. Another factor that can influence the efficiency of the design modifications is the effect of the wind. When operating in cold weather, care must be taken to restrict the airflow through the battery compartment as best as possible and during extreme cold weather, the flow should be completely blocked. To ensure that flow conditions are optimum for all weather conditions, automatic variable flow restrictors should be used. This would also prevent damage to the batteries if flow restrictor plugs are left in place during extreme hot temperatures. Based on the results obtained with the tests presented here, it is recommended that the modifications performed on the Solectria (more insulation of the battery compartments and use of air flow restrictors) be implemented for better NiMH battery management. Additionally, even more improvement may be possible in cold weather and for safety precautions for the operation in hot weather, with airflow restrictors that operate in response to the operating ambient temperature. 4.3 BTMS Design Testing – Warm Weather Due to the nature of the modifications made to EVHQ, it was also important to study the thermal response of the system when operating in warm weather conditions. Normally, for a nonthermally managed Solectria Force with NiMH, forced ventilation of the battery compartments is necessary in warm temperature, in order to prevent batteries from overheating. There was a possibility that with the addition of insulation, the forced ventilation might be insufficient. The batteries could then overheat, which would result in permanent battery damage. The objective of the on-road tests was to evaluate the warm weather performance of a Solectria Force modified for cold weather operation. These tests were necessary to complement on-road winter testing and controlled laboratory testing to demonstrate the performance and the viability of the system over a wide range of real world operating conditions. Summer testing was done in Shawinigan, Québec, at Hydro-Québec’s Laboratoire des Technologies Électrochimiques et des Électrotechnologies (LTEE), on the same car used in Vermont for winter testing. The course designed for the tests presents characteristics similar to the one used by EVermont. This course was run seven times, on seven different days (ambient temperatures ranging from 23.15°C to 28.99°C). The LTEE Report for this testing, On-Road Summer Testing of NiMH Battery Powered E.V. is available as a separate document.
4.3.1 Test Description
This project had the objective to conduct on-road testing in warm weather conditions of a “winterized” EV equipped with NiMH batteries. The warm weather performance will be compared to the performance obtained during winter testing. To ensure that the results from the two test series can be compared, great care must be taken to ensure that winter test conditions are reproduced as best as possible. The parameters that must be reproduced are the ones not directly related to the weather, which are the driving conditions and the test course. During the tests, all usual parameters were recorded by the CR10X data acquisition system installed in the vehicle by EVermont. This system records all electric parameters (battery Voltages, current and temperatures, ambient temperature, Ah, kWh). The tests were done with the vehicle speed selector set to power mode and the vehicle speed held within ±10 km/h of the 9/20/99
speed limit at all time. A total of seven runs was done, on seven different days, from August 19, 1998 to August 31, 1998.
18.104.22.168 Test Course
For comparison purposes, the course used for the tests had to present similar characteristics as the one used in Vermont. The developed course is 32.7 km long, which is approximately the same length of EVermont’s course (32.64 km). For each test, this course was run three times, for a total trip of around 98.1 km., Figure 26 presents the test course in light green. The test course starts at LTEE facility on avenue de la Montagne, in Shawinigan, in a 50 km/h zone. The first stop sign is encountered at about 1.2 km from the starting point. The course turns left at this intersection on to Garnier, toward the city of Shawinigan. Another stop sign is encountered and the road then goes downhill and uphill under Highway 55. The first stop light is encountered at 3 km. At this point, the course enters an urban zone for about 2 km (2 stop signs and 2 traffic lights). A right turn is made to exit the city limits at 5 km, where a 6% downhill grade is encountered before arriving to “Baie-de-Shawinigan” at 6.3 km. The course then follows Shawinigan’s bay, where the speed limit increases to 90 km/h at 7.1 km. An 8% grade hill is then encountered from 7.9 km to 9.3 km, where highway 55 is taken (speed limit of 100 km/h). The course follows highway 55 until it reaches the 17th km. During the highway portion of the course, between exits 211 and 220, the road goes mainly uphill, with a significant downhill-uphill combination when passing over Garnier Street. The highway is left at exit 220 and a left turn is made, heading north, passing over the highway and entering a rural road for 6.9 km, towards StGérard-des-Laurentides village. The first part of this course portion is in relatively flat terrain, with a speed limit of 70 km/h. After a left turn on 103rd street, at 21.1 km, the speed limit decreases to 50 km/h for a few Figure 26: EVHQ Warm Weather Test Course hundred meters and then increases to 80 km/h. At this point, the course continues with a combination of slight up and downhill elements, until turning left at a stop sign and entering the St-Gérard-desLaurentides village at 24.5 km from the beginning (50 km/h). After going through the village, a left turn is made on to route 351, heading south, in Shawinigan’s direction for about 6.2 km. Road 351 presents relatively flat rolling conditions, with a speed limit of 80 km/h. When re-entering Shawinigan’s city limits, the speed limit is reduced to 50 km/h and a stop is encountered (30.7 km). A left turn is made back on to avenue de la Montagne, towards LTEE for the end of the course (32.7 km).
Summer Testing Results
The testing results show that for the conditions of the six tests, the temperature did not reach critical levels. The highest temperature observed in the battery compartments was 47.5°C, which is relatively high but not dangerous. This temperature was maintained only for a short period of time, during a “harder” part of the course. On a lower stress part of the course, the ventilation system was enough to cool down the battery compartments. However, the general trend of the battery temperature is upwards. As a general concept, the temperature in the battery compartment is a balance between the heat generated by the batteries and the heat loss of the battery compartments. A temperature elevation means that all the generated heat cannot be evacuated from the compartment. This shows that for heavy, and maybe even medium duty cycles, at ambient temperatures of over 20°C, the ventilation system might not be sufficient to keep the batteries cool, which could then lead to overheating. In order to prevent any overheating damage in any type of conditions of vehicle utilization, it would be necessary to modify the ventilation system or the configuration of the battery compartments. A better airflow between the battery cells or higher volume of air passing through the compartments would help to evacuate the excess generated heat. However, with the current configuration of the system, the driver should be aware of the potential overheating danger when operating the vehicle in more stressful driving conditions (weather and type of road). A possible solution for this problem is a warning light that alerts the driver when battery temperature reducing measures are necessary. In these cases a more conservative way of driving is required (operation in normal or economy mode) in order to keep the heat generation as low as possible, to prevent battery damage.
5.0 Vehicle On Road Test Evaluations
Two intensive vehicle evaluation campaigns were undertaken on EV13 and other EVermont vehicles. One in warm weather to baseline the vehicles and the other in extreme cold weather to evaluate system performance. During these periods the vehicles were fitted with appropriate electronic sensors to measure energy use and temperatures of the vehicles, components and ambient conditions. This data was Figure 27: EV15, EV13, EV1, EVHQ and Richard Watts high resolution time series data, collected and stored via the Campbell CR 10 data logger. The vehicles involved in these tests were also driven on a daily basis as a way of collecting anecdotal performance information and, when necessary, to gather additional data to reinforce the tests preformed in this project. Under the guidance of EVermont, the data was handled by Vermont Monitoring Cooperative (VMC). VMC, under the auspices of the Vermont Department of Forest, Parks and Recreation, maintains long-term environmental monitoring data sets, stores data in a data management system and has a staff dedicated to maintaining and analyzing environmental data. 5.1 Data Acquisition System The Solectria Force is a four-door conversion electric vehicle based on a Chevrolet (Geo) Metro. It is powered by a Solectria UMOC 440 controller coupled to an AT1200 transmission with an ACgtx20 AC induction motor. Through a “Power Selector Switch”, the driver controls this fixed reduction drive system. The Drive Selector has three positions: economy, normal and power. The system offers regenerative braking for capture of braking energy. The drive system components weigh 58 Kg, or only 5.5% of the total weight of the vehicle.
Figure 28: Solectria Drive Selector Switch
Battery management is accomplished with a proprietary battery management system, “DAQ”, developed by Solectria. This system monitors individual battery voltages at all times and prevents individual batteries from being overdischarged or over-charged. DAQ also provides thermal management control for the battery pack. Its main goal is to maintain temperature uniformity between battery compartments as well as to keep temperatures within optimal operating range. DAQ has various algorithms allowing proper thermal-management control under a variety of conditions,
depending on the ambient environment. 5.2 EVermont On-Road Field Test Course EVermont designed a 20.4-mile (32.8 km) road course establishing a structured setting to collect data. The test course was used to assess and compare vehicle performance on a single real-world driving route. Reducing the number of variables between vehicles (day, time, temperature, roads and driving conditions) enabled legitimate comparisons to be drawn among vehicles. At the same time, data was collected from operating on-road, in “real-life” situations throughout the project’s period. The initial test course evaluations were held in February 1997 to collect cold weather data and in July 1997 to provide comparison points during warmer weather. Additional warm weather testing was performed in July and August 1999. The 20.4-mile test course, shown in Figure 29, begins in Middlesex, Vermont at the Vermont General Services Division (GSD) facility on U.S. Route 2. Out of the GSD facility the course follows Route 2 East to Montpelier. This section of the course consists of seven miles of rolling rural secondary two-lane road. Exiting from the GSD facility, the vehicle encounters an uphill section of roadway with a posted speed of 50 MPH. This uphill continues for 0.3 miles, at which time the vehicle descends the hill as Route 2 travels through Middlesex Village where the speed limit is reduced to 35 MPH and mile 1 of the course is completed. Once through the Village, the speed limit returns to 50 MPH, with Route 2 continuing east. The road generally follows the Winooski River, heading upstream, and consists of rolling terrain. Between miles 2 and 3, Route 2 crosses over Interstate 89. At about mile 5 the speed limit is reduced to 35 MPH and then to 25 MPH at about mile 6. The reduced speed limits signify the entry into Montpelier. At mile 7, a traffic light is encountered, and course conditions change from rural secondary roads to urban traffic conditions. This leg through the center of Montpelier is approximately 2 miles in length, and includes two additional traffic lights. The course rejoins
Figure 29: EVermont Test Course
Route 2 east briefly, and by mile 9 is on Hill Street in Montpelier. From the base of Hill Street in Montpelier to where it plateaus in Berlin is a 12% grade. This 0.7-mile section of road has a surface that starts out as asphalt in need of repair and then changes to gravel. The course continues on the gravel surfaced road with a down and uphill section while bearing left onto Stewart Road, but overall climbing in elevation.
At mile 10 there is a stop sign at the intersection of Paine Turnpike. Paine Turnpike is a paved secondary road and the terrain is generally rolling but climbs in elevation. Another traffic light is encountered at the intersection with Vermont Route 62 (mile 11). Route 62 is taken a short distance (0.1 miles) to the entrance ramp of Interstate 89. At this point the course changes to rural interstate conditions. The course continues to climb in elevation to mile 12. At this point a 6% downhill grade is encountered on the interstate for a distance of 2 miles. The roadway then changes to a rolling terrain with slight up and downhill elements. The interstate is exited at exit 9, where a stop sign is encountered. A local road is taken to Route 2 and then the course ends with a return to the GSD facility. 5.3 EVermont NiMH Baseline Vehicle, EV13, 1997 Solectria Force EV13 has been in continuous use since being delivered on January 15, 1997 and has logged over 21,000 miles since that time. The data presented here is the baseline information used for the project. The first three data sets (Figures 30, 31 and 32) present data collected from operating the vehicle under two distinctly different ambient conditions, one ‘Cold’ at –22°C, the other ‘Mild’ at 14°C. Ambient temperature was the major factor that varies between these data sets. The vehicle was operated by the same driver, in the same manner, over the same test course. The test course was an on-road test course where the posted speed limits range from 25 to 55 miles per hour. During these data collection periods the vehicle was always operated within 5 MPH of the legal posted limit, as well as following all other traffic codes. Prior to each test course run the vehicle was left outside overnight and allowed to charge in the same manner. Measurements of battery temperature (four separate), battery voltage (individual, plus total), current, total amp-hour and kilowatt-hours are recorded every other second through an on-board DAQ.
Figure 30: Baseline Traction Battery Voltage from EV13
The total voltage of the battery pack is presented for two conditions in Figure 30, a relatively Mild day when the average temperature during the test course run was 58o F (14o C), and a Cold day when the average temperature was -7o F (-22o C). On the Cold day, the overnight low temperature was -13o F (-25o C).
The general pattern of traction battery voltage for the two days track parallel each other, a demonstration of the effectiveness of the operational controls (see Figure 30). On the Mild day the total traction voltage averages 208.0 volts, whereas on the Cold day it averages 189.4 volts, or 9.2% less. The standard deviation of the total voltage is 9.51 volts on the Mild day and 13.35 on the Cold day. Based on these observations there is 40.4% more fluctuation in total voltage on the Cold day versus the Mild day.
Figure 31: High and Low Battery Voltage for EV13 The DAQ monitors the individual voltage of each battery within the total battery pack as illustrated in Figure 31. The system is set up to record the highest voltage and lowest voltage of each battery in the string every other second. For the Mild day the average of the ‘High’ battery voltage was 14.0 volts, whereas the comparable value for the Cold day was 12.9, or the average ‘High’ was 7.9% less on the Cold day. The respective standard deviations for these readings were 0.66 and 0.86 volts, or the fluctuation in voltage among the high battery was 30.3% more on the Cold day versus the Mild day.
For the ‘Low’ battery, the average for the Mild day was 13.8 volts, whereas for the Cold day it was 12.3, or the average ‘Low’ battery voltage was 10.9% lower on the Cold day. The standard deviation on the Mild day was 0.62, and on the Cold day 0.95, therefore there was 53.2% more fluctuation in the average ‘Low’ battery voltage on the Cold day versus the Mild day. The temperature of four batteries was monitored during the two test course runs and the data is illustrated in Figure 32. These batteries were located at the extreme corners of the two battery compartments; one in the front of the vehicle, the other in the rear. The initial temperatures represent the standing temperatures of the batteries prior to the start of the test course run, with temperature increasing throughout the run. On the Mild day, the temperatures within each compartment are generally within two degrees centigrade of each other and generally within six degrees centigrade between the front and rear compartment.
Figure 32: Baseline Battery Temperatures for EV13
On the Cold day, the rear compartment battery temperatures remained within two degrees centigrade of each other throughout the test course run. The front compartment temperatures displayed a different pattern. While the front left battery tracked well with both rear batteries monitored, about twothirds of the way through the run, there was a point of departure. The front battery compartment contained a lesser number of batteries and had greater exposure to the ambient condition. The data for the front right battery produced a noticeably different pattern than all other recordings.
There was concern that the sensors may be biased by the ambient condition, and therefore was not an accurate representation of battery. EV13 completed eight runs of the test course by March 1997. The conditions under which these runs have been completed range in average ambient air temperature of -6.5o F (-22o C) to 58o F (14o C). On the Cold day, the battery pack delivered 83.2 Amp-Hours, or 98% of its design Ah capacity. The 2% reduction in Ah capacity coupled with the nearly 10% reduction in average voltage helps to account for some of the 35% decrease in range. The majority of change in performance (20%) may be attributed to increases in friction load placed on the vehicle because of cold weather conditions. For Table 5: Energy Delivered by Battery Pack of EV13 comparison purposes, an EV powered by non-thermally Voltage Date kWh Ah managed lead-acid battery pack (mean) would experience approximately January 30, 1997 14.4 83.2 173.1 an 80% decrease in performance May 13, 1997 15.1 81.4 185.5 as compared to the approximately 35% percent depicted here. A July 24, 1997 14.2 77.1 184.2 thermally managed lead-acid battery car would display about the same performance, and a conventional internal combustion engine powered vehicle experiences a estimated to 20 to 30% decrement of performance. Several observations were made as a result of these baseline test runs. The temperature of the four batteries rose during the testing indicating that heat generation exceeds conduction and natural convection losses with the fans off. Batteries within the same compartment remained at generally the same temperature within ±2°C. The front battery compartment was generally cooler than the rear compartment by approximately 6°C. This was consistent with the fact that the front battery compartment had greater Figure 33: EV13 Performance, Varying Temperatures exposure to ambient conditions EV-13 (NiMH Car) Performance and contained fewer batteries. Average pack voltage on the milder day was 208.6 volts while the average pack voltage on the cold day was 189.4 volts, or 9.2% less. This voltage drop was attributed to lower overall operating temperature of the battery pack. During cold weather testing it was also observed that the vehicle was less responsive as a result of the lower operating voltage. Not only was the overall battery pack voltage reduced during colder temperatures but the voltage deviation of individual batteries was 40.4% greater indicating temperature imbalances within each box. Average total battery pack capacity on an amp hour basis was relatively constant however the total energy provided by the pack was reduced about 6.2% in cold weather due to lower pack voltage. It was estimated that additional cold weather thermal management would alleviate this loss of capacity.
100.0% 90.0% 80.0% 70.0% Percent of Mild Weather Performance 60.0% 50.0% 40.0% 30.0% 20.0% 10.0% 0.0% -6.5 3.0 14.0 22.0 27.0 35.5 40.0 56.5 Temperature, deg. F
65 Mile Test Drive Jan- Mar, 1997
HydroQuebec Vehicle Testing, EVHQ, Summer 1998
Vehicle Modifications Figure 34: EVHQ NiMH Solectria Force
Design consideration for NiMH batteries compartments focused on the need to reject heat and prevent the overheating of this battery technology. Systems to accomplish this have been mainly comprised of measurements of battery temperature to control active ventilation of the battery compartment for heat rejection. If the overheat condition is not threatened the system remains passive, allowing ‘passive’ ventilation of the compartment as a result of vehicle travel and conductive losses due to an uninsulated compartment.
To investigate the potential benefits of cold weather thermal management of NiMH batteries, simple passive design modifications were made to the battery compartments of the Solectria Force. The design of the Solectria Force includes two battery compartments, one forward and one aft. Both compartments were insulated to reduce conductive losses, thereby conserving losses during battery discharge and having that energy available for battery warming. Additionally, modifications were made to the ventilation portals in the battery compartments to control the volume of air that could pass through, thereby reducing infiltration losses.
5.4.2 Data Collection Figure 35: Average Front and Rear Battery Thermocouples vs. Time, EVHQ and EV13 (March 17, 1998 Test Drive)
To evaluate the effect of the design modifications, two vehicles were fully instrumented to measure battery temperatures, voltage, current and other vehicle operational and environmental parameters. Data were collected by means of onboard data acquisition systems, sampling all parameters and storing the data every other second. One of the vehicles (EVHQ) contained the design modifications described above, the other vehicle (EV13) did not.
Figure 35 presents data from a test drive in which both vehicles were driven in a controlled manner on two loops of the EVermont on-road test course. Collecting data in this way limits a number of variables (time of day, weather, vehicle operation), at the same time allows for vehicle operation in “real-life” situations.
On March 17, 1998 the two vehicles were driven on the test course. Both vehicles were left out in the weather to charge under identical conditions the night before. The overnight low temperature was recorded to be –18oC. Figure 35 presents the time series data of the average front and rear battery thermocouples as recorded during the test drive. The data indicates that the batteries in EVHQ, with the modification, were warmer than the unmodified vehicle by 138%. Also, the temperature differential between the front and rear compartments of the modified vehicle as compared to the unmodified vehicle averaged 38% less. This is a desirable characteristic.
5.4.4 Battery Voltage
Average Module Voltage 17 Mar 98
To consider the effect of the thermal management system in maintaining battery voltage, data from two test drives were considered; one cold day and one warm day. The test drive of March 17, 1998 represented the cold day. The ambient temperature for this drive averaged –13oC. The test drive for the warm day was conducted on April 15, 1998. The ambient temperature for this test drive averaged 23oC. On the cold day the airflow through the battery compartment ventilation system was ‘choked’ through the use of adjustable plugs inserted into the portals. On the warm day, the portals were ‘unchoked’, allowing for full flow, if called for by the system. In Figure 36, the average module voltage for the warm and cold day test drives are presented in an X-Y plot. The excellent agreement of the voltage reading confirmed the controlled operation of the vehicle. The correlation line of the voltages initially followed the 45o slope line quite closely, however as the test Figure 36: Correlation of Average Module Voltage of the Warm Day progressed the correlation (23oC) to the Cold Day (-13oC) line of the data falls slightly below the 45o Correlation of Average Module Voltage of 15 April 98 (Warm) to Average Module Voltage of 17 Mar 98 (Cold) slope. This indicates that slightly greater voltages were experienced during the test drive on the warm day versus the cold day. The voltages of the warm day were about 4% greater at the end of the test over the cold day.
15 14.5 14 13.5 17 Mar 98; Tamb = -13C 13 12.5 y = 0.8903x + 1.1441 2 R = 0.9949 12
Baseline testing of NiMH powered EV13 identified that extreme cold weather operation could reduce battery voltage in the order of 10%. As demonstrated, a simple system that conserves the energy through insulation and adjusting the ventilation rate of the battery compartments can reduce this effect to an estimated 4%, a 60% improvement. The system applied was a manually operated design and demonstrates an engineering solution for cold weather thermal management. An automated system for regulating airflow based on temperature would be the next design iteration of NiMH battery thermal management for the full range of environmental conditions that a vehicle may encounter.
15 Apr 98; Tamb = 23C 10.5 10 10 10.5 11 11.5 12 12.5 13 13.5 14 14.5 15 Average Module Voltage 15 Apr 98
EVermont EV15 Vehicle Testing, Winter 1999
Because NiMH battery technology is generally exothermic, a conservation of energy approach has been taken in the application of passive technologies to retain heat within the battery compartments. These design modifications have been applied to maintain the batteries above the ambient temperature without the addition of an active heat source. The conservation technologies employed are battery compartment insulation and reduction of battery box ventilation through the application of ‘proof of concept’ Figure 37: EV15, GP NiMH Solectria Force flow restrictors and ventilation system flapper valves. The addition of the insulation is to reduce conductive losses from the system, whereas the modifications to the ventilation systems are designed to reduce convective losses. Battery box modifications were pursued in the second project vehicle (EVHQ) to maintain the batteries at optimal temperature regardless of ambient temperature, design modifications were also made to the motor controller to overcome some of the side effects associated with the instability in battery operation. NiMH batteries experience a voltage ‘sag’ under high current load. This instability is exacerbated at cold temperatures to the point where system controls to protect the controller from over current would come into play and disable controller operation.
5.5.2 Vehicle Testing
On November 30, 1998, EVermont took possession of the EV15 with 354 miles recorded on the odometer. As of February 18, 1999 the vehicle had accumulated 3,635 miles. On average, this represents approximately 300 miles per week. The vehicle was taken out of service the week of January 10, 1999 for the installation of the fuel based heating system. The car was fitted with a data logger to continuously monitor vehicle energy parameters and operational parameters initially on December 11, 1998, with upgrades to the system performed on January 6, 1999 and January 15, 1999. A manually recorded operators log has been continuously kept since delivery of the vehicle. The vehicle performed well. The modified controller and high efficiency motor provided responsive operation. The vehicle was able to maintain speed on hilly terrain and has presented itself as far superior to previous designs at cold temperatures. Several test course runs were completed during a paired-test (base design car run serially against the modified design vehicle). The paired tests collected data to compare battery/drive system performance as well as cabin thermal management systems. A summary of the paired tests can be found in Table 6. Vehicle performance was significantly increased with no loss in overall vehicle efficiency.
Table 6: Test Drive Data Summary of EV13 and EV15, Winter 1999 EV13 January 31, 1999 Start Time Amp-Hours Tripmeter Odometer Amp-Hours/Mile Air Temperature, C February 1, 1999 Time Amp-Hours Tripmeter Odometer Amp-Hours/Mile Air Temperature, C 5.5.3
End 6:10 AM 59.08 38.4 20,361 0.643
Start 3:55 AM 0.62 0.0 2,967
End 4:52 AM 55.18 37.6 3,005 0.696
5:10 AM 0.00 0.0 20,323
4:35 AM 0.34 0.0 20,362
5:52 AM 69.93 50.2 20,413 0.733
6:20 AM 0.41 0.0 3,039
7:35 AM 70.40 50.2 3,089 0.714
Winter Testing, Cabin Thermal Management
Data sets have been assembled that include the paired-tests reference above. In addition, data sets from an internal combustion powered Geo Metro and a Solectria Force with an electric resistance heating system have been assembled. Cabin heating and maintaining a clear windshield can represent a significant energy requirement. To date, systems which rely solely upon battery energy are inefficient (on a system basis, see Figure 38) and historically ineffective. The EV15 design integration enhancement 9/20/1999
Figure 38: Full Cycle Efficiency of Energy Use for Cabin Heating, Fuel vs. Electricity NAVC1096-PG009524
of a fuel-fired heater represents a third generation effort. The attached charts (Figures 39 – 42) illustrate the performance improvements associated with this latest generation of fossil fuel fired heating and how that performance compares to the heater performance of an internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle.
22.214.171.124 EV12 Electric Resistance Heat
EV12 was used as a baseline comparison for all heating systems as it represents the original CARB requirement for electric vehicles to rely solely on resistance heat. Currently CARB allows vehicles to maintain zero emission Figure 39: EV12 Cabin Heating, Electric Resistance status while being equipped with a fuel-fired heater. However, the vehicle is required to rely solely on electric resistance heating at ambient temperatures above 40oF. When the ambient temperature falls below this, supplemental heat using a fuel-fired heater is allowed. EV12 is equipped only with an electric resistance heater. On January 16, 1996 a controlled heating evaluation was performed on EV12 from a starting ambient temperature of -20°C. The warm up is displayed in Figure 39. Two items in the chart are important for this analysis including the discharge temperature from the heater and the vehicle temperature as measured at the headrest of the vehicle. The electric resistance heater provides heat immediately however, it takes nearly 25 minutes for the outlet temperatures to reach steady state at 20°C while the interior temperature at the headrest never exceeds 0°C.
126.96.36.199 ICE Metro Engine Heat
Figure 40: ICE Metro Cabin Heating
In a conventional vehicle, heat is provided to the passenger cabin utilizing a small heat exchanger that transfers heat from the engine coolant to the heating system. As shown in Figure 40 the heat necessary to heat the cabin to approximately 20°C can easily be provided and maintained by a typical engine. The difference is that cabin heat is not provided until the car has warmed up. The ICE Metro in Figure 40 takes about 2 minutes to provide full heat with defroster temperatures above 40°C.
EV13, Fuel-Fired Heat
Figure 41: EV13 Fuel-Fired Heat
EV13 is equipped with a second generation fuel-fired heater as well as air conditioning. As shown in Figure 41, EV13 provided plenty of heating capacity with a warm up time of just under two minutes. This is roughly equivalent to an ICE vehicle. The heater in EV13 is slightly oversized and the control algorithm control has fairly wide set points such that the defroster outlet temperature fluctuates. This is basically a function of controlling the heater in an on/off fashion instead of a percentage fashion.
Figure 42: EV15 Fuel-Fired Heat
EV15, Fuel-Fired Heat
EV15, provides a greater amount of heat to the passenger cabin (note both defroster and vent temperatures) and does it in less time than a conventional ICE vehicle.
Figure 43: EV1 Wiring Layout
5.6 EV1, Solectria E-10 Hybrid Truck EV1 is a Solectria E-10 pickup conversion of a Chevrolet S10. The vehicle is equipped with dual drive motors and dual controllers. This vehicle was originally equipped with three strings of group 22, gel cell batteries in parallel. Each string consists of 12 battery modules in series for a total nominal operating voltage of 156 volts. The total rating of the original three-string pack was approximately 90Ah or about 14kWh. To facilitate the installation of the APU in the engine compartment one of the three strings was removed lowering the total battery capacity to 60Ah at 156 volts or about 9.4kWh. The APU is operated in a generally load following mode in that its output follows the demand of the vehicle. When vehicle demand exceeds the APU output the remaining energy is drawn from the batteries. As a result the
batteries see less severe duty than when the vehicle is operated without the APU. Load following is generally considered more efficient from an energy standpoint as the energy produced is used immediately by the vehicle and does not undergo a loss associated with passing the energy through the batteries first. In both modes of operation, hybrid and electric, regenerative braking energy is captured and routed to the batteries. As a result of the load following architecture this hybrid vehicle is a charge depleting or range extending hybrid. This is because the batteries are continually being drawn down. Once the batteries are depleted the vehicle can still be operated but the vehicle power output to the drive wheels is limited to the 10kw rating of the APU and acceleration suffers as a result. The top speed is also limited to about 45 mph on level ground when operating solely on the APU.
5.6.1 Heating System Performance Figure 44: EV1 Windshield Defrost Test 1/22/98
To evaluate the heating/defrosting system performance the cabin and windshield temperatures were monitored during a January morning (1/22/98) when ambient temperature was below 0°F the previous evening.
This testing demonstrated that the APU was more than capable of supplying adequate heat to the passenger compartment. As with an ICE vehicle the engine did need time to warm up to operating temperature but this time was generally shorter than a larger engine as the engine mass of the APU in EV1 is much smaller and takes less time to heat up. Also unlike an ICE vehicle that takes coolant from the engine while the engine is simultaneously supplying coolant to the primary engine radiator, the APU in EV1 uses the vehicles heater core as the primary radiator allowing all of the APU waste heat if necessary to heat the passenger cabin. Summer Testing July 1999 All of the project vehicles were brought together for a final round of summer comparison testing. In addition to EV13, EVHQ, EV15 and EV1 a number of additional vehicles were present for comparison. These vehicles included EV7 (the blue vehicle in Figure 45), EV9 a lead-acid Solectria Force with 10,198 miles, EV7 another lead-acid Force with over 30,202 miles, EV16 a leadacid Force that will be a baseline 5.7
Figure 45: EVs at the Montpelier Airport, July 1999
Figure 46: EVHQ ¼ Mile Acceleration Chart
EVHQ: Acceleration Test 1
VehSpeed 80 CurrAmps 250
car for super capacitor testing in the future and EV14 a Delco advance lead-acid battery car with over 7,482 miles.
5.7.1 ¼ Mile Acceleration Testing
60 150 50 100 40 50 30 0 20 Drive Current (amps) Vehicle Speed (mph)
Prior to range testing all of the vehicles were brought together at the Montpelier airport for acceleration testing on one of the inactive runways. Multiple ¼ mile acceleration runs were made in both directions to cancel out the effect of wind and grade on the results.
0 Time (2 second Interval)
A summary chart and comparison chart is included here in Figure 46 and Figure 47. The ¼ mile acceleration values were 51 mph for EV13 and EV15 and 66 mph for EVHQ.
Figure 47: NiMH Vehicle Comparison Chart
Vehicle Acceleration Test
EV13 1400 EVHQ EV15
Feet and MPH
EV1 On Road Testing with EV18 August 12, 1999
Both EV1 and EV18 are Solectria E-10 pickup trucks and are electric vehicle conversions based on the popular Chevrolet S-10 pickup. EV1 is equipped with 24 sealed gel-type, lead-acid group 22 batteries. These batteries are rated at 30Ah nominal and are oriented in two parallel strings of 12 batteries each. EV18 is similar to EV1 except it is equipped with 24 sealed gel-type, lead-acid group 24 batteries. These batteries are rated at 48 Ah nominal and are oriented in two parallel strings of 12 batteries each. Both of the vehicles were driven on the EVermont test course. EV18 was operated in power mode while EV1 was operated in power mode with the APU operating.
400 200 0 1/4 Mile Stopping Distance (feet) 1/4 Mile Maximum Speed (mph) Constant Speed (mph) Constant Speed Stopping Distance (feet)
EV18 traveled 40.8 miles on 12.2 kWh or 299 Wh/mile gross AC. The energy consumed was measured at the wall meter upstream of the battery charger. This would equate to about 240 Wh/mile net from the batteries assuming the charging is 80% efficient. Add 10%
Figure 48: Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (NESEA), Well to Wheels Use of Transportation Energy
for utility transmission line losses and 13.56 kWh of generation is required at the plant. At 55% efficiency the plant will consume 84,121 Btu to generate this energy. This is equivalent to 0.76 gallons of gasoline for a fuel economy equivalent of 53 mpg. EV1 on the same EVermont test route traveled 104 miles on 11.4 kWh of AC wall energy and 2.66 gallons of gasoline consumed by the APU. We assume that EV1 consumes electricity and captures regeneration energy at the same rate as EV18. In electrical energy terms, in order to travel 104 miles the vehicle would need 25 kWh net to complete the route (240 x 104). The 11.4 from the wall provides for only 9.1 Figure 49: EV1 and EV18 Maximum Range kWh available from the batteries assuming 80% charging efficiency. Vehicle Range The total energy required (25 kWh) less the 9.1 kWh provided by the batteries, leaves 15.9 kWh provided by the APU. In this case we have not assigned any battery losses to the energy provided by the APU as the power from the APU is generally used to move the vehicle as it is generated. The APU consumed 2.66 gallons of gasoline to produce the 15.9 kWh for a heat rate of 18,402 Btu/kWh. This leads to a total energy efficiency of about 18.5% for the APU (3,413/18,402).
120 104 100 80 Miles 60 40.8 40 20 15 0 EV1 EV18 EV1 (Batteries Only)
The conventional gasoline powered Chevrolet S10 gets about 21 mpg in mixed driving. For a strictly apples to apples comparison to EV18 (the pure electric E-10), transportation and refinery losses must also be assessed bringing the total ICE vehicle fuel consumption from 21 mpg down to 17 mpg. Using the same method as EV18 and the Chevrolet S-10, the 11.4 kWh consumed by EV1 is equivalent to 0.71 gallon of gasoline. When refining and transportation losses are considered the 2.66 gallons consumed by the APU is actually 3.27 gallons equivalent for a total of 3.98 gallons to go 104 miles for an effective fuel economy of 26 miles per gallon. There are three major differences between EV18, EV1 and a conventional Chevrolet S-10 that make up the fuel economy difference. The smallest of the three is the overall engine efficiency. The S-10 IC engine is about 18% efficient in mixed driving. The second is the addition of regenerative braking on EV1. This accounts for as much as 5 kWh of energy in the 104-mile range test. The third and largest factor is the use of battery energy to supplement the APU as this energy is averaged at about 53 mpg (using the above assumptions about power generation) compared to the 18% of APU. If you instead used the APU to supply all of the energy with no regenerative braking you would need about 30 kWh to make the trip. To produce 30 kWh the APU would consume 5.02 gallons of gasoline from the pump. The vehicle would then be getting 20.7 mpg or about the same as the conventional S10.
Range Testing EV13, EVHQ and EV15
Figure 50: EV13 Speed Trace on Test Route
EV13, EVHQ and EV15 were brought together for a final summer comparison round of range testing in Montpelier on the EVermont test course. Both EV13 and EV15 were able to complete four laps of the EVermont test course with a total route mileage of 82 miles. EVHQ experienced a voltage alarm, triggered by low module voltage, that prevented it from completing the fourth lap of the route and stopped at the 70.25-mile mark. EV15 completed the route using only 73.53 Ah (about 15.44 kWh). Energy consumption for this vehicle was 0.90 Ah/mile and 0.188 kWh/mile. EV13 consumed 80.13 Ah (about 16.8 kWh). Energy consumption for this vehicle was 0.98 Ah/mile and 0.205 kWh/mile. EVHQ had an alarm at 69 Ah. The vehicle was consuming energy at 0.98 Ah/mile or about 0.206 kWh/mile. Figure 50 illustrates the EVermont test course as a speed trace. Figure 51 shows the battery voltage reading for EVHQ. It is evident from this chart that the alarm in question is a low voltage alarm for one of the GP NiMH modules, possibly brought on by moderately high battery temperatures (40°C to 45°C) for this vehicle.
Figure 51: EVHQ Battery Voltage on Test Route
6.0 Conclusions and Recommendations
6.1 Cabin Thermal Management A challenge to cold weather operation of electric vehicles has been insufficient heat available for passenger comfort. This report finds that through proper engineering and efficient use of energy in cold temperatures, the passenger cabin of an electric vehicle can be as comfortable as a conventional vehicle. Testing of the fuel-fired heaters in the NiMH vehicles indicate that these heaters quickly bring the cabin up to desired temperature and satisfy comfort requirements. Cabin temperatures beginning at -10°C were easily elevated to 20°C with defroster outlet temperatures of over 40°C, while the control vehicle (electric heat only) remained around 0°C for the duration of the test. The fuel-fired heater in EV15 provided comparable outlet temperatures and heating to that of a conventional gasoline vehicle. High efficiency fuel-fired heaters are technically justified, as they are the most efficient means for providing cabin comfort with the benefit of providing an additional source of on-board energy. Over the course of a Vermont winter, the total fuel consumed for the cabin heater is about 5 gallons. A comparison of total system energy efficiencies of fuel-fired heaters vs. electric resistance heaters, from the extraction of fossil fuel to the heating of the vehicle cabin, concludes that fuelfired heat can be twice as efficient as electric resistance heat. The calculation of fuel-fired heater efficiency is based on the efficiency of the process used to extract fossil fuel (which drives the heater), the handling and distribution of the fuel and finally the actual heater efficiency. These sub-system efficiencies have been documented as 80%, 98% and 80% respectively, resulting in an overall fuel-fired heater efficiency of approximately 62%. The steps to powering an electric resistance heater are the generation of electricity from fuel at the power plant, the distribution of that power, the charging and discharging of the battery pack and the heating of the heating element. Efficiencies of each of these steps are 55%, 90%, 80% and 100% respectively. This yields an electric resistance heater system total efficiency of approximately 39%. A comparison of these analyses concludes that electric resistance heaters are less efficient than fuel-fired heaters, overall. Supporting this finding, CARB allows electric vehicles with fuel-fired heaters to maintain their zero emissions status as long as the fuel-fired heater is not operated at ambient temperatures above 40°F. Recommendations for improving cabin thermal management include continued integration, optimization of a fuel-fired heating system with a cabin thermal management system and further refinement of the pre-heat system. This can be achieved through integration of a flow control mechanism for regulation of heat transfer to the cabin and integration of the cabin pre-heat system and the fuel-fired system. Integration of a flow control mechanism would allow the heat transfer fluid flow to be controlled, therefore, eliminating heater cycling. Integration of the cabin pre-heat and fuel-fired systems could include several options; using the fuel-fired heater for preheat, or using the electric resistance heater to heat the fluid which would in turn pre-heat the cabin. Refinements to the pre-heat system considered are the ability to use in an ‘off-schedule’ situation and to be operated by remote control.
6.2 NiMH Vehicle Performance Data collected from the NiMH powered vehicles indicated that non-thermally managed NiMH batteries can provide near design Ah capacity, even in cold conditions (-22°C), however total battery voltage is suppressed (9.2%) (Figure 52) and total voltage fluctuation is increased (40.2%) reducing available pack kWh. Within the pack, individual modules experience a 30.3% increase in the difference between the voltage of the module with the highest charge vs. that with the lowest. This depression of total pack voltage resulting from the fluctuations in the state-of-charge of individual cells can be deleterious to battery performance and life.
Figure 52: NiMH Pack Voltage vs. Temperature
Average Total Volts Vs Average Battery Temperature Current >25 and < 35 Amps
A-Hrs >5 & < 20
A-Hrs >20 & <30 190 Average Total Volts
A-Hrs >30 & <40
A-Hrs >40 & <50 180 A-Hrs >50 & <60
170 -10 -5 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 Average Battery Temp
There is a measurable correlation between vehicle range and ambient temperature. Factors which influence this decrease in range are the additional friction forces associated with cold weather mechanical operation, the use of accessory equipment and the reduction in the energy content of the battery pack at colder temperatures due to decreased battery voltage. As shown in Figure 52, the average pack voltage for a given state of charge for the NiMH batteries is suppressed at low battery temperatures and high states of charge. This voltage effect is less pronounced as battery state of charge decreases such that at 60% depth of discharge the voltage difference due to cold battery temperatures is relatively small. This is because the battery discharge process is exothermic, giving off heat as the batteries are discharged. The rise in battery temperature is, in part, a measure of the performance of the heat conservation design of the battery thermal management system – retaining heat in the cold weather and rejecting it in the warm/hot weather. Electric vehicles consume more energy during cold weather operation when compared to warm weather use. Energy consumed during EV testing performed in the winter when ambient temperatures averaged -7.5°C, was higher than similar testing performed in the summer (ambient temperatures averaged 25°C). Figure 53: NiMH Cold Weather Range Comparison During the winter testing, energy Effects of Temperature on Vehicle Range consumption averaged 250 to Normalized to 21 deg. C 235 watt-hours/mile, whereas in the summer output averaged 205 watt-hours/mile (for EV13 and EVHQ) and 188 watt-hours/mile for EV15. Thus in cold climates, EV performance is not only hampered by reduced battery output, but also by increased battery drain. As shown in Figure 53, in the extreme (-20°C) the ICE is reduced to just under 80% of its 20°C range, whereas the thermally managed NiMH electric vehicle is reduced to
110% 100% Estimated ICE 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% Percent of Vehicle Range at 21 deg. C NiMH TM Pb-Acid Pb-Acid 0% -20 -15 -10 -5 0 5 10 15 20 25 Temperature, deg. C
approximately 65%. This represents a difference in range of less than 20% in the extreme cold case between the thermally managed NiMH vehicle and a conventional vehicle. This project has demonstrated increased cold weather NiMH vehicle range by 23% through the application of battery thermal management technologies.
Figure 54: BTM NiMH Battery Temperature vs. Ambient
There is a measurable decrease in NiMH battery capacity (kWh) when operating temperatures are higher than optimal. For the NiMH batteries this temperature is around 45°C. Above this temperature energy content was significantly lower and vehicle range decreased as a result. As such, any thermal management system that provides insulation to the batteries for extreme cold weather operation must compensate with additional cooling capabilities. Future studies for consideration of this problem could include cooling systems driven by a closed-loop liquid cooling mechanism similar to how waste heat is drawn away from the APU, or consideration of different battery box designs. 6.3 Battery Thermal Management Testing of individual locations within the battery packs during controlled testing in a cold chamber indicates that a variation in individual battery temperatures occur, regardless of enclosure type (i.e., insulated vs. non-insulated). As a result of this battery voltage and vehicle performance suffers to some extent. Warm weather testing of battery performance is essential when insulating the battery pack compartment, as the insulating material may cause overheating of the batteries during usage or charging. In previous studies, EVermont determined that fan cooling was sufficient to cool leadacid batteries in moderately warm weather. Warm weather testing indicates that NiMH battery temperatures increased while discharging in all three of the NiMH vehicles despite fan cooling. In EV13 the combination of fan cooling and no insulation did alleviate some of the heat load, but battery temperatures still increased. As a result, a minimum requirement for summer operation is that the plugs used to limit cold weather ventilation rate must be removed. In order to prevent any overheating damage in any type of operating conditions, it would be necessary to modify the ventilation system or the configuration of the battery compartments. A better airflow between the battery cells or higher volume of air passing through the compartments would help to evacuate the excess generated heat. However, with the actual configuration of the system, the driver should be aware of the potential overheating danger when operating the vehicle in more stressful driving conditions (weather and type of road). In these cases a more conservative way of driving is required (operation in normal or economy mode) in order to keep the heat generation as low as possible to prevent battery damage. At temperatures above 30°C the NiMH batteries exhibit a drop in total Ah capacity that results in a loss of kWh capacity and reduced range. At temperatures below 0°C the batteries generally maintain their Ah capacity but voltage is depressed resulting in a loss of kWh capacity and reduced range. Optimum power and capacity are maintained between approximately 0°C and
30°C. Self-discharge is about 1.5% per day at 20°C, which increases dramatically with battery operating temperature. 6.4 APU Integration Integration of the APU into the Solectria E 10 pickup (EV1) provided excellent cabin heating capabilities and sufficient range extension to compensate for the removal of the front battery pack. Vehicle energy economy based on a total energy standpoint is better than a conventional ICE vehicle, but realized only about half that of the pure electric. Although the APU integration is considered successful overall, initial testing indicated that a problem could occur while the APU is running, the batteries are fully charged and regenerative braking is employed. In a case like this, excessively high voltage causes the controllers to drop off line. Several solutions were identified with varying degrees of practicality. These are to not run the APU with the batteries fully charged. This easily avoids overcharging but precludes the option of warming the cabin on a cold morning. The second is to operate the electric heater while the engine is running thus absorbing excess energy or third to disengage the regenerative brakes. The next steps in APU integration should focus on improved combination of the APU and energy management system to allow full use of all vehicle subsystems such as regenerative brakes and fuel-fired APU heat. 6.5 Battery Thermal Management System Model The thermal performance of NiMH batteries powering the Solectria Force vehicle has been numerically modeled for the running phase. The BTMS numerical model was constructed and validated using experimental data collected in the cold chamber. Results have shown that the model is reliable for the hot case (corresponding to +20°C). However, a disagreement is observed between the prediction of the model and the experimental data for the cold case (corresponding to -20°C) after 30 minutes of running. The effects of some parameters such as the insulation and the air mass flow have been studied for the later case in order to improve the model’s accuracy. The results reveal that these factors do not have a significant impact on the predicted solution. Other factors, which have not been investigated or taken into account, may be responsible for the observed discrepancy. These parameters can be summarized as follows: • • • • • geometry details: protuberance on the surface of the modules and the shape of the terminals difference in the temperature boundary conditions: the ambient temperature could be different from one side of the box to the other resistance of the module at low temperatures: the resistance dependency on temperature should be checked physical properties of the modules: variable thermal conductivity and specific heat areas of heat generation: regions where heat is generated must be identified.
The impact of these parameters on the predicted results should be investigated in the future to enhance the accuracy of the model. Possibilities for further development of the model include the addition of other features to the model for the design and thermal management purposes. The features in question include the fans’ control algorithm, the battery efficiency (necessary to model the recharge phase) and so on. The model could be used as transient (time dependent) or steady (time independent). It should be
noted that the transient model can be easily switched to a steady state model since the former is more general. The steady state model is interesting to use to investigate the existence of overheat regions under critical operating conditions (high ambient temperature and current for example). Concerning the transient model, it can be used to predict the temperature evolution of the batteries and estimate the running time of the fans and many other quantities that maybe interesting to know in order to design an efficient system. Several additional recommendations for improving the model exist. These include performing sensitivity tests and parametric evaluations to provide further validation, seamlessly integrate the battery box design model and the thermal model, and develop a comprehensive thermal management system.
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