Numerical Investigation Of Battery Cooling In Electric Vehicle

With the increasing demand for electric vehicles (EVs), it is imperative to prioritize the development of efficient battery cooling systems to enhance performance and extend the lifespan of battery packs. In this comprehensive blog post, we will conduct an in-depth exploration of battery cooling in electric vehicles, examining the challenges involved, exploring different cooling methods, and shedding light on the commonly used coolant in battery cooling.

Understanding Battery Cooling

Efficient battery cooling is crucial to maintaining the temperature within an optimal range and preventing overheating. High temperatures can lead to accelerated battery degradation, reduced energy storage capacity, and overall performance degradation. Therefore, a practical battery cooling system is essential to regulate the temperature and prevent thermal issues.

What Is The Formula For Battery Cooling?

The battery cooling in an electric vehicle can be quantified using the following formula:

Q = h × A × (Tb  Ta)

Where Q represents the heat transfer rate in watts (W). h is the heat transfer coefficient in watts per square meter per Kelvin (W/m2K), which characterizes the ability of the cooling system to dissipate heat. A represents the surface area in square meters (m2) through which heat is transferred. Tb is the battery temperature in Kelvin (K). Ta is the ambient temperature in Kelvin (K).

This formula calculates the rate of heat transfer from the battery to the surrounding environment, taking into account the temperature difference and the heat transfer coefficient.

In the next section, you will see how an electric battery cooled.

Methods of Battery Cooling in Electric Vehicles

Several methods are employed for battery cooling systems for electric vehicles. The choice of cooling method depends on factors such as the battery's chemistry, size, and desired thermal management strategy. The most common techniques include:

  1. Liquid Cooling: Liquid cooling involves circulating a coolant, typically a mixture of water and ethylene glycol (antifreeze), through a network of channels or pipes within the battery pack. The coolant absorbs heat generated by the batteries and transfers it to a heat exchanger, where it is dissipated into the surrounding air. Liquid cooling offers efficient and precise temperature control, making it suitable for high-performance and high-capacity battery packs.
  2. Air Cooling: Air cooling utilizes air's natural or forced convection to dissipate heat from the battery pack. Fans or blowers are employed to enhance airflow and facilitate efficient cooling. Air cooling is generally less complex than liquid cooling but may be less effective in dissipating high heat loads. It is commonly used in more miniature or less heat-intensive battery packs.
  3. Phase Change Material (PCM) Cooling: PCM cooling involves the use of materials that can absorb and release heat during phase transitions. These materials, such as paraffin wax or composite materials, can store thermal energy and maintain a relatively constant temperature within the battery pack. PCM cooling is particularly useful in regulating temperature fluctuations during transient heat loads or temperature extremes.

Commonly Used Coolant in Battery Cooling

The commonly used coolant in battery cooling systems for electric vehicles is a mixture of water and ethylene glycol, commonly known as antifreeze. This coolant has gained popularity due to its favorable heat transfer properties and its ability to prevent freezing in cold climates.

The water and ethylene glycol mixture offers high thermal conductivity, which means it can efficiently transfer heat away from the battery pack. When the battery generates heat during operation, the coolant absorbs this heat and carries it away from the battery cells. This helps maintain the battery temperature within a safe range, preventing overheating and potential damage to the battery.

Another advantage of using ethylene glycol as a coolant is its high specific heat capacity. Specific heat capacity refers to the amount of heat energy required to raise the temperature of a substance by a certain amount. Ethylene glycol has a higher specific heat capacity than water, which means it absorbs and holds more heat energy per unit mass. This property allows the coolant to absorb a significant amount of heat from the battery pack, contributing to effective cooling.

Furthermore, including ethylene glycol in the coolant mixture prevents the freezing of the coolant in cold weather conditions. Ethylene glycol has a lower freezing point than water, so the mixture remains in a liquid state even at lower temperatures. This is crucial for electric vehicles operating in regions with cold climates, as it ensures that the coolant remains fluid and can continue to circulate through the battery cooling system, providing continuous cooling and preventing the formation of ice that could hinder the cooling process or damage the battery.

Overall, the mixture of water and ethylene glycol offers a well-balanced combination of heat transfer properties, freeze protection, and year-round functionality. It allows for efficient heat dissipation from the battery pack, protecting the battery from overheating while ensuring proper cooling even in cold weather conditions. The use of this coolant in battery cooling systems has become a standard practice in the electric vehicle industry to optimize battery performance and longevity.


Investigating battery cooling in electric vehicles is paramount to optimize battery performance, prevent overheating, and extending battery life. EV manufacturers can design efficient battery cooling systems by utilizing formulas such as the heat transfer equation and employing cooling methods like liquid cooling, air cooling, or PCM cooling. The commonly used coolant, a mixture of water and ethylene glycol, provides effective heat transfer properties and ensures optimal battery operation across various environmental conditions. Choosing the appropriate cooling method and coolant is crucial to maintaining battery health and maximizing the performance and lifespan of electric vehicle batteries