Thermal gels help cool batteries

October 06, 2017 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Parker Chomerics has launched a series of thermal gels for batteries in electric and hybrid electric vehicles (BEV/PHEV) to improve battery performance, durability, safety and reliability.

The THERM-A-GAP gels are pre-cured or locally hardening one-component compounds have a cross-linked structure. Both silicone and silicone-free gels are available, depending on the thermal conductivity requirements. The gels are particularly suitable for series production in the automotive market, as they can be dispensed by robots or automatically, which significantly reduces cycle times and costs.

Electric vehicles have significantly larger batteries than conventional vehicles. These batteries generate a considerable amount of heat that needs to be dissipated. If left untreated, excessive heat can lead to faster battery degradation, reduce battery performance due to uneven temperature distribution and hamper charging efficiency. There are also safety risks, and thermal runaway of the battery pack must be prevented. Effective heat management is therefore crucial to maximize battery performance and longevity, as well as increasing safety and reliability, so that vehicles can travel longer distances and increase battery life with a single charge.

Thermal management often uses liquid cooling, whereby cooling loops/coils are applied to several different assemblies of the battery. A thermal interface gel is placed between the coils and the battery's aluminum housing to increase safety. This ensures long-term thermal stability and performance and also prevents electrical short circuits.

The THERM-A-GAP filler pads are suitable for assemblies requiring additional hold and higher electrical insulation. Thermal interface materials such as gels and pads also help the battery to reach its optimum temperature and performance faster to improve the driving experience in winter months.

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