News | Mar 12, 2019

Army assigned patent on core temperature estimation for electric vehicle battery packs

Research performed at the University of Michigan

News Article Image of Army assigned patent on core temperature estimation for electric vehicle battery packs

A cutaway model of a Nissan Leaf shows the electric vehicle's battery packs.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office assigned U.S. Patent 10,230,137 to the U.S. Army on Tuesday.

The patent protects a new invention called “Estimating Core Temperatures of Battery Cells in a Battery Pack.”

Experimental vehicles being tested by the Army are powered by cylinder-shaped lithium-ion batteries. The batteries are stacked in packs and containerized to prevent accidental ruptures.

Automotive and industrial machinery companies are also using battery packs in electric and hybrid vehicles.

Monitoring the temperatures of the batteries is necessary for maintaining optimal power output.

“Past attempts, however, have been fraught with shortcomings and can be largely inaccurate, unreliable, and in some cases impractical,” the patent states. “In one example, a surface temperature of a battery cell is measured and taken as its core temperature. But this can be grossly inaccurate as temperatures between the surface and the core can differ by as much as 30 degrees Celsius.”

The improved method of estimating battery temperatures involves measuring the surface and coolant temperatures, along with internal electrical resistance, which are fed into a mathematical formula.

The invention was co-assigned to the University of Michigan and was supported by a contract from the U.S. Army Tank-Automotive & Armaments Command.

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