Energies (Mar 2019)

Water Condensation in Traction Battery Systems

  • Woong-Ki Kim,
  • Fabian Steger,
  • Bhavya Kotak,
  • Peter V. R. Knudsen,
  • Uwe Girgsdies,
  • Hans-Georg Schweiger

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 12, no. 6
p. 1171


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Lithium-ion traction battery systems of hybrid and electric vehicles must have a high level of durability and reliability like all other components and systems of a vehicle. Battery systems get heated while in the application. To ensure the desired life span and performance, most systems are equipped with a cooling system. The changing environmental condition in daily use may cause water condensation in the housing of the battery system. In this study, three system designs were investigated, to compare different solutions to deal with pressure differences and condensation: (1) a sealed battery system, (2) an open system and (3) a battery system equipped with a pressure compensation element (PCE). These three designs were tested under two conditions: (a) in normal operation and (b) in a maximum humidity scenario. The amount of the condensation in the housing was determined through a change in relative humidity of air inside the housing. Through PCE and available spacing of the housing, moisture entered into the housing during the cooling process. While applying the test scenarios, the gradient-based drift of the moisture into the housing contributed maximum towards the condensation. Condensation occurred on the internal surface for all the three design variants.