Patent pending for a new process: Engineers from Ford Motor Company and researchers at Purdue University in West Lafayette (Indiana, USA) have applied for a patent for a process in which the heat that is generated when large amounts of electricity flow through a charging cable by means of a special Coolant is derived. The liquid evaporates and dissipates a large part of the heat. The bottom line is that these charging cables are much more powerful than conventional products, so that the charging process of a suitably equipped electric vehicle could only take a few minutes in the future – and thus no longer than filling up at a conventional petrol pump. The Purdue University video gives an impression of the liquid-cooled charging of electric vehicles.
The new technology uses a liquid coolant that evaporates during the charging process. Theoretically, the time it takes to recharge e-vehicles could even be reduced to the duration of conventional refueling at a petrol pump. The entire project builds on the experience of Prof. Issam Mudawar, who has developed trend-setting methods for cooling high-performance electrics and electronics over the past 37 years.
Michael Degner, Senior Technical Leader, Ford Research and Advanced Engineering: “So far, chargers are still limited in their performance due to the risk of overheating. In order to be able to charge the battery of an electric vehicle more quickly, however, more current must flow through the cable. This also increases the amount of heat that has to be dissipated in order to ensure safety and proper function of the cable “.
Issam Mudawar, professor of mechanical engineering at Purdue University, explains: “Charging times for electric vehicles can vary widely – from 20 minutes at a fast charging station to several hours at household sockets. For this reason, potential customers considering buying an electric vehicle are unsettled and sometimes postpone buying an electric car”.
According to his own statements, Prof. Mudawar intends to begin extensive testing of a prototype charging cable in the next two years. However, the fast charging cable will not be ready for the market in the near future.
Ted Miller, Manager of Electrification Subsystems and Power Supply Research, Ford Motor Company, sagt: “Since the time of Henry Ford and Thomas Edison, Ford has been actively involved in battery research and the development of electric vehicles. We have received more than 2,500 US patents for numerous electrification technologies to date. The collaboration with Prof. Mudawar and his students is the perfect addition to comprehensively research future-proof charging solutions “.
The cooperation between Ford and Purdue University is part of numerous strategic alliances that the group has with university professors and university institutes around the world. Giving doctoral students the opportunity to work on real challenges with a high degree of practical relevance helps them develop their skills. In addition, the next generation of students is motivated to start their professional career at Ford, so that they can develop their creativity in the field of electromobility.
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© ots / Peter Manford