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Driven by the twin demands of evolving customer expectations and increasing emissions regulation, the global automotive industry is in a race to deliver a sustainable compliment (if not replacement) to the Internal Combustion Engine. For now, propulsion systems based partially, or entirely, around electricity seem like the most credible prospect for providing the greatest reduction in CO2 emissions, within a reasonable timescale.

However, compared to gasoline engines, the cost of electrified power trains remains high, mainly due to the high cost of the batteries required to store and deliver the electrical power needed to drive such vehicles. Both Automotive OEMs and battery manufacturers are investing heavily in battery technology, with the aim of extending battery life, achieving higher energy densities and faster charging times, while improving both safety and reliability. A lot of this investment focuses on the efficient thermal control of battery cells.

Temperature distribution analysis of a module of 84 cells: 42 cells connected in series, and each row is connected in parallel. Liquid cooled plate are lateraly postionned on those rows (Image courtesy of ASCS, Stuttgart and Behr)

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