Motivation – Temperature is a crucial influencing factor on Electric Vehicle (EV) performance (power delivery, drive comfort and range) as well as the battery pack performance (health, power and capacity). Especially at low temperature, the driving range could be radically reduced to enhance the power delivery and comfort while the battery health and power - capacity will be affected by ageing mechanisms such as lithium plating phenomena and reduction in electrolytic ionic conductivity, respectively. Due to the systems’ complexity with different operational modes, their performances could be further deteriorated by a use of an inefficient thermal management strategy.
Aims – This project aims to develop an intelligent Thermal Management System (iTMS) for high performance EVs. The iTMS is the combination of three enabling technologies: (1) loop heat pipe technology for battery system; (2) heat pump technology for vehicle systems; and (3) an optimal thermal management strategy to effectively manage both the thermal systems, offering the best performance through a dynamic trade-off between power, range, comfort, component lifetime and reliability.
Main Objectives - Successful development of the iTMS therefore will underpin five goals: (a) High power delivery; (b) High cooling – heating efficiency; (c) Less energy consumption; (d) Low maintenance cost; (e) High reliability. Main research objectives include:
- To carry out a comprehensive literature review and real-world duty cycles analysis with relevant stakeholders to exploit commercial-technical impact pathways and to identify use cases, design requirements and specifications of the iTMS
- To design a generic battery system integrated an advanced loop heat pipe system and, to create its comprehensive model with real-time capability
- To design a real-time capable model of a complete EV, including a heat-pump circuit integrated with the loop heat pipe system
- To develop an optimal thermal management strategy with real-time capability using dynamic multi-objective optimization and AI (Artificial Intelligent) -based decision making techniques
- To perform real-world case studies to confirm the capability and applicability of the designed iTMS
- To disseminate the scientific outcomes through high-ranking journals and presentations at renowned international conferences and workshop
This project will benefit from real-world and lab data, obtained from successful collaborative research and PhD projects led by the supervisors, allowing the model validation. To maximise potential outcomes of this project, the unique vehicle thermal testbed (mixing both physical and virtual hardware of EV and battery) recently established by the supervisors and advanced simulation tools will be utilised as the platform to allow the student to verify the whole iTMS, including real-time experiment.
Research Strategy Alignment - This project is strongly aligned with three themes of the ‘Energy’ GRP of Warwick as well as WMG: Low Carbon Transport, Energy Storage and Energy Management. This fits well within the research themes led by the supervisors, consequently, will boost their leadership in the field of energy storage, energy management and control for smart transport systems.
Essential and desirable criteria
Prospective applicants are expected to have a minimum 2.1 undergraduate (BEng, MEng, BSc, MSci) and/or postgraduate masters’ qualification (MSc) with 65%
Engineering background, system modelling, simulation and control. Experience in MATLAB/Simulink and analytical skills. Having relevant background in any transportation sectors, especially thermal systems, is desired but not essential.