Full Hybrid Electrical Vehicle Battery Pack System Design, CFD Simulation and Testing 2010-01-1080
CFD analysis was performed using the FLUENT software to design the thermal system for a hybrid vehicle battery pack. The battery pack contained multiple modular battery elements, called bricks, and the inlet and outlet bus bars that electrically connected the bricks into a series string. The simulated thermal system was comprised of the vehicle cabin, seat cavity, inlet plenum, battery pack, a downstream centrifugal fan, and the vehicle trunk. The fan was modeled using a multiple reference frame approach. A full system analysis was done for airflow and thermal performance optimization to ensure the most uniform cell temperatures under all operating conditions. The mesh for the full system was about 13 million cells run on a 6-node HP cluster. A baseline design was first analyzed for fluid-thermal performance. Subsequently, multiple design iterations were run to create uniform airflow among all the individual bricks while minimizing parasitic pressure drop. NVH issues were also addressed in the design by keeping the flow streamlined thereby minimizing flow induced turbulence. The prediction for system pressure drop and cell temperature correlated well with test data on an instrumented battery pack.