Fraunhofer, Johnson Controls develop battery cooling solutions

March 21, 2014 // By Paul Buckley
Fraunhofer Gesellschaft has signed a collaboration agreement with Johnson Controls to develop the next generation of more energy efficient, cost effective cooling systems for vehicle batteries.

The collaboration pairs Europe's largest organization for applied research with the world's leading automotive battery supplier.

Scientists and engineers at Johnson Controls will work with both Fraunhofer's Institute for Environmental, Safety and Energy Technology (UMSICHT) and with Fraunhofer's Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials (IFAM).

The collaboration will focus on technologies and thermal management strategies for lithium-ion battery packs. Currently, systems with fans, compressors or pumps use energy to pull heat out of a battery.

"Optimizing the energy storage solution within the broader vehicle environment will enable Johnson Controls to design, develop and commercialize systems which not only meet our customers' requirements, but also lead to improvements in function, package and cost," explained MaryAnn Wright, vice president of Engineering and Product Development for Johnson Controls Power Solutions.

The scope of the work will initially focus on 48-Volt Micro Hybrid battery technology, which is designed to deliver strong fuel and emissions efficiency, and load management at a lower price than hybrid and electric vehicle technology.

Johnson Controls has demonstrated its advanced Micro Hybrid battery technology has the potential to reduce fuel consumption by up to 15 percent.  The technology is expected to be adopted in Europe first and then quickly move to the U.S.A., with global adoption beginning in 2020.

"Our commitment to developing new battery technologies is exemplified in our strong global academic network and national lab partnerships," said Wright. "Innovative collaborations, like the one we have with the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft, are an investment in both the future of academic research in energy management, as well the development of the talent pipeline for our industry."

Christian Rosenkranz, Vicepresident Johnson Controls Power Solutions Advanced Materials and Products Engineering (left) and Dr.-Ing. Christian Dötsch, Head of Energy, Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety and Energy Technology UMSICHT sign a cooperation agreement between Johnson Controls and Fraunhofer Gesellschaft.

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