Liquid-cooled charging for e-cars

This makes the charging process as fast as refueling

12. November 2021, 9:04 Uhr | Irina Hübner
Forscher der Purdue Universityder in West Lafayette (US-Bundesstaat Indiana) bei der Arbeit.
Researchers at Purdue University in West Lafayette (Indiana) at work.
© Ford

Engineers at Ford and researchers at Purdue University have developed a liquid-cooled charging cable that is much more powerful than conventional charging cables. In the future, the charging process could take just a few minutes - no longer than filling up at a gasoline pump.

In the patent-pending process, heat generated when large amounts of electricity flow through a charging cable is dissipated by means of a special cooling liquid. The liquid evaporates, dissipating a large proportion of the heat. This charging cable is thus much more efficient than standard products.

»Until now, chargers have still been limited in their performance due to the risk of overheating. However, to charge an electric vehicle's battery faster, more current needs to flow through the cable,« says Michael Degner, senior technical leader, Ford Research and Advanced Engineering. »This also increases the amount of heat that must be dissipated to ensure the cable is safe and functioning properly.«

Issam Mudawar, a professor of mechanical engineering at Purdue University, plans to begin extensive testing of a prototype charging cable in the next two years. However, the fast-charging cable will not reach market readiness in the near future. The project builds on the experience of Prof. Mudawar, who has spent the past several decades developing pioneering methods for cooling high-performance electrical systems and electronics.

The collaboration between Ford and Purdue University is part of numerous strategic alliances the corporation has with university professors and university institutes around the world. Ford thus gives doctoral students the opportunity to work on real-life challenges with a high degree of practical relevance. This is intended to motivate young students to start their professional careers at Ford, where they can develop their creativity in the field of electromobility.

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