Battery cooling technology featured on new European electric vehicles

Dana has developed both air and liquid battery cooling technologies for a number of electric and hybrid-electric vehicles, most recently an electric vehicle sedan to be launched in Europe by a European OEM later this year.

In addition, the company continues to develop new technologies to advance automakers’ development of fuel-cell powered vehicles.

"Dana has great capability in the traditional areas of thermal and sealing technology, and we have leveraged that expertise into new and innovative areas such as electric car and fuel cell development," said Roger J. Wood, chief executive officer and president of Dana. "Alternative power generation for automobiles is going to require the collective efforts of the OEM and suppliers to achieve critical mass. We will continue to support these technologies, not only to participate in the market growth, but also to help create a viable market for green power."

Dana’s lightweight fin technology extends battery life by enabling optimal cooling of its European customer’s electric vehicle’s lithium-ion battery pack while it charges. The patent pending system helps the automaker overcome the challenge of removing heat from tightly packed battery cells through the use of uniquely designed, flexible aluminum fins that create a channel for air to reach the surface of each cell module.

"Using our knowledge of thermal technologies, Dana developed a specialized air cooling assembly that works within the limited space between the battery’s tightly packed cells," said George T. Constand, Dana’s chief technology officer. "Our engineering expertise allowed us to provide a flexible, custom solution to our customer in order to best meet the unique demands of this exciting vehicle."

Designed to offer reduced complexity, Dana’s battery cooling technology is flexible enough to meet the diverse needs of today’s advanced batteries. In addition, the technology is crafted using easily-recyclable aluminum, contributing to the overall environmental benefit of the system.

The assemblies are manufactured at Dana’s facility in Guiscard, France.

Dana’s advanced battery cooling technologies have been featured on 16 hybrid-electric and electric vehicles, including the Chevrolet Volt, Ford Focus, Ford Transit Connect, and Tesla Roadster Sport.

Dana will also continue to help advance fuel-cell technologies as part of its green power strategy. The company has been a world leader in fuel-cell technologies for more than 10 years, developing and manufacturing metallic and composite separator plate products, balance-of-plant heat exchangers, and hydrogen fuel reformers for vehicular, portable, stationary, and industrial mobility markets.

In addition to optimizing the performance of battery packs for vehicles, Dana’s expertise extends to managing the efficiency of thermal energy transfer and storage for renewable energy markets.

Dana is a world leader in the supply of driveline products (axles, driveshafts, and transmissions), power technologies (sealing and thermal-management products), and genuine service parts for light- and heavy-duty vehicle manufacturers. The company’s customer base includes nearly 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 2010 sales of $6.1 billion.