CFD Modeling and Thermal Analysis of a Cold Plate Design with a Zig-Zag Serpentine Flow Pattern for Li-Ion Batteries

Sarath Arangat Jayarajan, Ulugbek Azimov*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
92 Downloads (Pure)


Heavy-duty vehicles, such as trucks or buses, typically have larger battery packs compared to passenger electric vehicles (EVs). These batteries generate more heat due to the increased power demands of the vehicle. Effective thermal management is therefore crucial to prevent excessive heat buildup and maintain optimal battery performance. This paper aimed to develop a dynamic and efficient cooling system for larger Li-ion batteries used in electric vehicles. In this study, we propose a novel cold plate design featuring a zig-zag serpentine flow pattern within a rectangular profile channel. The chosen design maximizes the coolant coverage over the cold plate’s surface area. To investigate the performance of the cold plate design, we designed and modeled a total of six different cold plates with varying numbers of channels (3, 5, 7, 9, 11, and 13). Preliminary simulations were conducted using Star CCM+ software. The cold plate material selected for its high thermal conductivity was aluminum, while water served as the coolant. Several parameters were optimized, including adjustments to channel width, mass flow rate, heat flux, and inlet coolant temperature. The optimization was conducted to determine the optimal design for the cold plate. We found that the best design configurations were five-channel with an 18 mm channel width and a seven-channel with a 16 mm channel width. It was found that the temperature rapidly increased and reached its maximum in the outlet region. In the design with three channels, the maximum temperature attained at the exit region was 330.84 K. The temperature gradually decreased at the exit region when the number of the channels increased from 3 channels to 13 channels and achieved a minimum temperature of 316 K for the design with 13 channels. For these configurations, heat fluxes of 2 °C and 3 °C were found to be optimal, while a discharge rate of 4 °C was deemed acceptable. The zig-zag design and the obtained results are instrumental in designing and evaluating the performance of cold plates by exploring various parameters. This research contributes to the development of an effective cooling system for large Li-ion batteries in EVs, potentially enhancing their efficiency and reliability.
Original languageEnglish
Article number5243
Number of pages23
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jul 2023

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