Expected progresses of the i-HeCoBatt project

The i-HeCoBatt project has already reached its halfway, closing the first period at the end of June 2020. By that time, the standard cooling solution has been tested in the climatic chamber, modelled through CFD – 1D tools and started to be tested in on-board AUDI vehicles. The core of this activity was to set the reference of the project.  At the same time, the first heat exchanger prototype was designed and optimised through CFD modelling and simulation. The prototype has been manufactured and some mechanical tests were performed to validate the concept, while the sensorised solution is currently being produced and tested.

In parallel, the first version of the diagnostic & safety SW is developed, so it is ready for its integration with the rest of the solutions developed in the project. Besides,  eco-design criteria and environmental and cost analysis methodology have been developed. Therefore, during the next months this methodology will be applied to the developed prototype, so that the final industrialisation concept is developed with a 360º approach

Therefore, during the next months the core activity will be:

  • To evaluate the first prototype in the climatic chamber
  • To analyse the vast amount of data obtained as results
  • To model this new concept and develop de ad-hoc thermal management strategy.
  • To validate its behaviour when it is mounted in the vehicle, driving it in the test track of AUDI.

This phase is the core of the project, because the A-Sample of the prototype will be used to evaluate the intermediate results and to improve every solution developed during the first half of the project. The final goal is to design, manufacture and test the industrialisation concept, so the intermediate testing and redesign will help to check the progress of the project against the reference heating and cooling solution.

Finally, the implementation of the SW tool and cloud based platform that will be carried out during the next months, will allow gathering the data provided by the sensors, updating the developed thermal strategies and monitoring the behaviour of the heating and cooling system in real operation.

Do not miss the latest developments that will come up during the next months!




Printed Integrated Functionalities in i-HeCoBatt Project

Printed electronics stands for a revolutionary new type of electronics, which is thin, light, flexible, robust and inexpensive, and therefore suitable for mass production. Printed electronics opens up the possibility of integrating functionalities such as temperature sensors, leak sensors, impact sensors, heater coils etc. into products and components.

Based on the EPI Know How & Experiences in developing Printed Electronic Products and Control & Readout Electronics, EPI uses its established development process for i-HeCoBatt Project:

• Definition of functionality for printed electronics
• Definition of properties of substrate and usable space
• Selection of conductive or insulation ink or past
• Selection of Connectors
• Definition of Control & Readout Electronic

As a specialist in functional printing, EPI offers a suite of services – from development expertise to manufacturing experience – for innovations that can evolutionise our lives.



The scope of the i-HeCoBatt Economic & Environmental Studies

According to the European Environmental Agency, transport is responsible for approximately 30% of the EU’s total CO2 emissions, of which 72% comes from road transportation. Indeed, CO2 emissions from passenger transport represent the highest contribution, accounting for around 61% of the total related to road transport in Europe (European Parliament, 2019a). In this regard, the EU has set a sever goal to reduce 60% of this sort of emissions (from transport) by 2050, compared to 1990 levels (European Parliament, 2019b).

In order to tackle the beforementioned emissions associated to road transport, there are two main solutions: i) making vehicle more efficient; ii) changing the type of fuel used. Currently, around 52% of the cars in Europe use petrol as a fuel; nevertheless, electric vehicles (EV) are everyday obtaining attention (European Parliament, 2019a). During the last few years, EV market share was increased; for instance, the sales of battery EV grown 51% in 2017 compared to 2016 in EU countries. However, the nowadays’ EV sales is about 1.5% of new registered passenger cars (European Parliament, 2019a). There are also some other obstacles for user acceptance of EVs, such as high cost, slow charging, limited range, perceived lack of added value and concerns of limited mobility. In this context, i-HeCoBatt project stands for Intelligent Heating and Cooling solution for enhanced range EV Battery packs (BP). The core objective of i-HeCoBatt is to achieve a smart, cost bursting industrial battery heat exchanger to minimize the impact on full electric vehicle range in extreme conditions. In short, this initiative will help to reduce the costs linked to the BP by replacing expensive component of current state-of-the-art products, as well as by minimizing the number of parts used.

Furthermore, this project will contribute to reduce the emissions released during the EV production stage, by identifying eco-design criteria in the novel heat exchanger production, which facilitates the design for easier recycling and disassembly, fostering a circular and low impacting scheme. The production stage of EV consumes about 70 % more primary energy than conventional cars (especially due to the e-powertrain production) and use different rare raw materials (for battery and motor magnets, lithium, etc.) (European Parliament, 2019a; Wang, Fenfen, Yelin Deng, 2020).

The Intelligent Heating and Cooling system proposed in this project will be evaluated from an economic and environmental perspective. Indeed, one of the objectives of i-HeCoBatt is to prove of a minimum of 20% cost reduction in mass production of the thermal system by introducing an innovative heat exchanger. In this regard, Vertech Group will assess the potential economic and environmental impacts by using state-of-the-art methodologies (i.e. life cycle costing and life cycle assessment). These analyses will support internal decisions regarding sustainability issues (identified during the production) and will be useful to compare the economic and environmental performance with the current heating and cooling system utilized in EV.



European Parliament. (2019a). CO2 emissions from cars: facts and figures (infographics).

European Parliament. (2019b). Reducing carbon emissions: EU targets and measures.

Wang, Fenfen, Yelin Deng,  and C. Y. (2020). Life cycle assessment of lithium oxygen battery for electric vehicles. Journal of Cleaner Production, 121339.


The SW tools used in the i-HeCoBatt project

In the developments that are made today, sharing information between companies and having it accessible from anywhere in the world is a requested requirement. The visualization and the handling of the data facilitate the understanding that, together with the acceleration of the validations of the developed systems, makes these tools indispensable.

In the i-HeCoBatt project Datik is developing a system that allows monitoring the sensors installed in the Battery Pack to analyze the performance of the new FLEXcooler. This diagnosis is made using a tablet and all the logged data are stored in the cloud, where they are accessible for further analysis.

For the development of these functionalities Datik is using Matlab SW, thanks to which it is possible to carry out ad-hoc developments that are being validated in simulation.




i-HeCoBatt Thermal strategy to reduce impact on vehicle range

Enhancing thermal strategy imply to first measure and analyse the full thermal behaviour for the vehicle battery pack and then to build up a complete numerical model. This has been realized for iHeCoBatt project using the CEA’s facilities in Nantes (France) and CEA’s expert team in Grenoble (France). The first part has consisted in acquiring internal and external temperatures for different test profiles and external conditions. CEA’s facilities rely on a climatic chamber coupled to an electric power bench (Fig.1 and Fig.2). Several electrical profiles were imposed to the battery in order to fully define the thermal response of it, starting from the internal component, up to the entire system. Constant charging modes for a fixed range of SOC (State Of Charge), Constant cycling modes up to thermal equilibrium, fast charging modes and even emulating a fully dynamic electric solicitation were realized for several external conditions.

These data have then been used to highlight the influence of all component in the battery pack using full CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics, Fig.3). Numerical models enable analysing heat diffusion within a cell module, fluid flow within the heat exchanger, the natural convection impact through the small residual air gaps in the battery pack. Finally it enables to give inputs for a more coarse modelling approach based on Matlab/ Simulink (Fig. 4), integrating the aside ancillary elements (chiller, pump). The latter will be used to quantify the impact of the different thermal management strategies on the vehicle range.



Third General Assembly Meeting for the i-HeCoBatt Project

On February 25th and 26th, 2020, MIBA hosted the third General Assembly meeting for the i-HeCoBatt project in Laakirchen (AUSTRIA).

During this meeting, the partners exchanged on the advancement of the project on the following topics:

WP2: First climatic chamber test campaing

WP3: Prototyping of first version of the innovative heat-exchanger

WP4: Design and integration of sensors in innovative heat-exchanger

WP5: Modelling of battery pack

WP6: Development of SW and cloud based services

WP7: Pilot line and environmental assesment

WP8: Scheduling of first on-board tests

After two days of meetings and discussions we are glad to announce that the project is right on track and progress has already been achieved thanks to the collaboration of all the consortium partners: Cidetec; Miba; CEA Tech; Datik; Vertech Group; EPI; AUDI.


Miba FLEXcooler® – the innovative thermal management solution for batteries

Cooling solutions for batteries that currently exist on the market are usually rigid aluminum plates with embedded pipes for the cooling liquid.

The Miba FLEXcooler® is a new and innovative cooling component for batteries. It’s main material is a foil where cooling liquid (various options) flows through the FLEXcooler® allowing maximum flexibility.

Compared to existing solutions on the market the FLEXcooler® is a non-rigid component, also flexible in size and shape. This allows battery cooling on cell, module and pack level.

The core benefit by using the FLEXcooler® technology is that there is no more need for gapfillers (thermal pasts) as the FLEXcooler® adjusts perfectly to the cell structure. Besides that, it is a non-electric conductive component showing better thermal efficiencies and tolerance compensation.


Overview of the i-HeCoBatt project

The i-HeCoBatt project is a highly specialised collaborative project in which a consortium of seven industrial & research organizations will jointly develop innovative solutions for EV batteries. i-HeCoBatt stands for Intelligent Heating and Cooling solution for enhanced range EV Battery packs. Its aim is to achieve a smart, cost bursting industrial battery heat exchanger to minimize the impact on full electric vehicle range in extreme conditions.

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