Active cooling of microvascular composites for battery packaging

Stephen J. Pety, Patrick X.L. Chia, Stephen M. Carrington, Scott R. White

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Batteries in electric vehicles (EVs) require a packaging system that provides both thermal regulation and crash protection. A novel packaging scheme is presented that uses active cooling of microvascular carbon fiber reinforced composites to accomplish this multifunctional objective. Microvascular carbon fiber/epoxy composite panels were fabricated and their cooling performance assessed over a range of thermal loads and experimental conditions. Tests were performed for different values of coolant flow rate, channel spacing, panel thermal conductivity, and applied heat flux. More efficient cooling occurs when the coolant flow rate is increased, channel spacing is reduced, and thermal conductivity of the host composite is increased. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations were also performed and correlate well with the experimental data. CFD simulations of a typical EV battery pack confirm that microvascular composite panels can adequately cool battery cells generating 500 W m-2 heat flux below 40 °C.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number105004
JournalSmart Materials and Structures
Issue number10
StatePublished - Sep 1 2017


  • battery cooling
  • computational fluid dynamics
  • microvascular composites
  • multifunctional materials
  • thermal imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Signal Processing
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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