Temperature control is one of the most significant factors to improve the performance and extend the cycle life of a battery. It is, therefore, important to design and implement an effective battery thermal management system (TMS). Phase change materials (PCMs) can be used as a cooling means for batteries. In the present paper, a preliminary analysis of the thermal behavior of PCMs used to cool down a heated metal surface was carried out. Tests have shown that pure PCMs are able to limit the temperature increase, but only for relatively low-heat fluxes. At higher values of the heat produced, the thermal conductivity of the PCM was increased by using solid foams characterized by higher thermal conductivity; it was, thus, possible to keep the surface temperature within safe limits for longer times. A computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model of the composite material (PCM + solid foam) was also developed, which allowed to predict the temperature trend within the system under different boundary conditions. However, the average thermal conductivity of the composite system that best fitted the experimental results was found to be much lower than that theoretically predicted by using common semiempirical correlations.

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