Mahle presents battery cooling plate inspired by corals
German automotive supplier Mahle has released a new battery cooling plate considered a “technological leap”. The engineers took inspiration from nature to develop cooling channels with a bionic structure enabling the coolant to flow differently.
According to Mahle, this significantly improves the thermodynamic performance and the structural-mechanical properties of the cooling plate. Specifically, the engineers increased the cooling capacity by ten per cent and reduced the pressure loss by 20 per cent.
This helps keep the battery within the optimal temperature window; in lithium batteries, cell temperature should not exceed 40 degrees Celsius, even under strenuous conditions such as fast charging. At the same time, the temperature distribution across all cells must be as uniform as possible, and this is where flow-through plates come in.
Mahle says its new design controls the coolant flow rate according to demand. Especially for minor temperature differences between battery cells and coolant, heat transfer is improved by slower flow rates. Mahle claims its bionic battery cooling plate here works so efficiently that the temperature range can be reduced by 50 per cent, and peak temperatures can be significantly lowered. This makes the battery more efficient, and it can be charged faster safely, leading to a longer service life.
Mahle also points out the design advantages of the bionic structure. Taking its clues from corals, the engineers achieved greater rigidity so they could use thinner material in new manufacturing processes with less energy.
“With our new battery cooling plate, we are breaking away from technical geometries and instead using natural structures, such as the coral shape-with outstanding effect for our cooling technology and great advantages in structural stability to boot,” said Dr Uli Christian Blessing, head of global development thermal management at Mahle.
Mahle will present its new bionic battery cooling plate for the first time in September 2023 at the IAA Mobility in Munich.