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Water cooling of power electronics and battery pack in hybrid electric vehicle

Identify most suitable
manufacturing method
for cooler plates

In a system that recuperates braking energy and stores it in a battery pack for additional 40 kW to the drive power electronics as well as the battery pack are water cooled.

Customer Requirements

The task was to supply cooler plates in a manufacturing method that is suitable for smaller series and flexible allowing design changes. The given specifications of 8 lpm, 1-2 bars of pressure drop, 500 W of heat dissipation on the IGBT modules and 1000 W on the battery pack are quite comfortable for the design of water coolers.

Our Solution

Interleaved folded fins in a vacuum brazed construction as proposed in the initial design would have involved too much cost. The chosen manufacturing method was to machine fluid channels into an aluminum plate and seal it with a cover plate by friction stir welding. Although a variety of high performance fluid channel structures – including such that utilise modern extrusions in series production, countercurrent flows, pin fin arrays – is available for the manufacturing method, rather simple, yet very well performing designs were chosen. The final designs were lighter in weight than originally proposed and were constructed to be safe in a harsh environment of vibrations.

Comparison of different fluid channel geometries for cooler of single 140x190 component

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