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Coolant Helps Keep Electric Vehicle Batteries Cooler

The service life of electric car batteries is cut in half when operating between 110 and 120 degrees Fahrenheit, the temperature they reach on a typical a summer day.

To solve this problem, a team of German researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety and Energy Technology developed a new coolant called CryoSolplus, which is capable of absorbing between two and three times as much heat as water.

CryoSolplus is a mix of water, anti-freeze and a stabilization agent. It also uses paraffin, which melts as it absorbs heat. This change from a solid form to a liquid form contributes to the coolant’s heat transfer capabilities. When the coolant system shuts down, the paraffin goes back to its solid state.

The stabilization agent is a key ingredient in CryoSolplus because it keeps the paraffin from clumping within the liquid and prevents the system’s cooling passages from becoming clogged.

“The main work of the research so far was to get a stable dispersion — that’s very critical and it wasn’t easy, because when it’s not at the right concentration, the paraffin tends to agglomerate and plug the pipes,” said project lead Tobias Kappels.

“If you have microencapsulated particles, it’s possible to damage the particles. Then the paraffin gets out into the water. But because we have surfactants, they always get back to the paraffin particle, and it’s refreshed, it’s stable and there will be no wear.”

In testing the new coolant, the research team had three main questions: “How long can it be stored without deterioration?”, “How well can it withstand mechanical stress from pumping through pipes?” and “How well can the paraffin droplets melt and solidify repeatedly?” said Kappels.



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