Dana Holding Corporation announced that it has recently received two grants totaling $3 million from Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) to develop technology to improve thermal management systems for battery systems in electric, plug-in hybrid-electric, and hybrid-electric vehicles.
“Through the ecoENERGY Innovation Initiative, our government is investing in innovative clean energy technologies that create jobs, generate new economic opportunities and protect the environment,” said the Honourable Joe Oliver, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources. “This program demonstrates our tangible support for energy projects that drive energy innovation.”
Temperature control in electric-vehicle battery systems remains a major challenge in maximizing battery life and reliability.
Dana said it will use this grant to seek a solution for the industry that improves the viability of electric vehicles.
The first project aims to advance the development of aluminum heat exchangers, which are used to thermally manage electric-vehicle battery systems. The grant focuses on improving fluxless aluminum brazing materials and process technology for manufacturing to increase process speeds, enhance cleanliness during production, and reduce overall cost.
“Dana is excited to work with NRCan on this important issue as we aim to increase the life and operating reliability of batteries, which will lead to greater market adoption of electric vehicles,” said Dwayne Matthews, president of the Dana Power Technologies Group. “We will be using these grants to build on our foundational knowledge of electric-vehicle thermal systems to help achieve higher levels of efficiency.”
Battery function and durability can be significantly compromised in cold climate conditions, such as those encountered during Canadian winters.
Thus, the second project aims to address these challenges and improve battery system performance in low temperatures by developing and integrating thick-film electric surface heaters directly into the battery cooling heat exchanger.
For this project, Dana will collaborate with Datec Coatings, of Mississauga, Ontario.
Dana stated the work for these projects will be completed at Dana’s technology center in Oakville, Ontario.
Both projects are part of NRCan’s ecoENERGY Innovation Initiative (ecoEII) and are expected to last approximately three years.