Parasitic power requirement is a key criterion in selection of suitable battery thermal management system (TMS) for EV applications. This paper presents a hybrid TMS with negative parasitic requirements, designed by integrating phase change material (PCM) with thermoelectric devices. The proposed system does not require any power consumption to maintain tight control over battery cell temperature during aggressive use and repetitive cycling. In addition, it can recover a portion of waste heat produced during the typical operation of EV battery packs.
Commercially available LiFeP04 20 Ah pouch cell has been chosen as a test battery sample for validating the conceptual design presented herein. The commercial battery cells, submerged in a PCM-filled polycarbonate casing, are subjected to a cyclic discharge process to elucidate their heat generation characteristics at 27 °C. Charging and discharging is conducted at 0.5C and 1C, respectively. A thermoelectric circuit is used to recover the heat energy absorbed by the PCM and to convert it to electrical energy. The manuscript further details some of the major findings of this experiment.