Lithium-ion battery life is dependent on maintaining optimum operating temperature. Dana’s unique heat-exchange technology cools the Roadster’s battery by transferring heat generated within the battery to the vehicle’s climate-control system. In addition, a temperature sensor mount provides continuous feedback to the climate-control system. This interface helps to maintain the battery’s ideal temperature during operation, thus helping to extend battery life.
"Dana is committed to providing our best-in-class engineering and manufacturing expertise to electric-vehicle manufacturers such as Tesla Motors," Dana President and CEO Jim Sweetnam said. "Our advanced battery technology solutions will help drive our growth in this exciting market segment."
Dana engineers constructed the heat exchanger using a patented aluminum brazing process, ensuring cleanliness of both the climate control and battery coolant fluids. The use of high-strength aluminum alloys provides greater material strength and contributes to weight savings. Additionally, the chiller’s compact design also provides significant space savings – critical for helping engineers accommodate the Roadster’s 6,800-cell battery pack.
"Advanced manufacturing capabilities such as our unique brazing process, combined with our research commitment to the hybrid and electric segment, position Dana as a valued contributor to hybrid-vehicle battery technology," said Ted Zielinski, director of engineering, Dana Thermal Products Group.
Dana developed and is manufacturing the heat exchanger at its advanced engineering center in Oakville, Ontario, Canada.
Dana is a world leader in the supply of axles; driveshafts; and structural, sealing, and thermal-management products; as well as genuine service parts. The company’s customer base includes virtually every major vehicle manufacturer in the global automotive, commercial vehicle, and off-highway markets. Based in Maumee, Ohio, the company employs approximately 22,500 people in 26 countries and reported 2008 sales of $8.1 billion.