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Electric Car Blanket Helps Maintain Battery Performance

Parking an electric car outside or in an unheated garage can subject its battery to extreme temperature variations, ranging from freezing temperatures to scorching heat. To ensure optimal performance and longevity, lithium-ion batteries powering electric cars need to be stored within a temperature range of 15°C to 35°C (59°F to 95°F). Charging and discharging also work best within this temperature range. However, most batteries only have built-in thermoregulation capabilities when in use, leaving stationary cars vulnerable to temperature changes.

Regulating Electric Car Temperature

To address this issue, a team of researchers led by Kehang Cui at Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China has developed an electric car blanket that can regulate the vehicle’s temperature, thereby keeping the batteries at peak performance. The blanket has an outer layer made from silica and boron nitride that reflects heat and sunlight, and an inner layer made from aluminum that traps heat, helping to maintain a constant temperature inside the car.

During tests, the team found that the electric car blanket could cool the vehicle by 8°C (14°F) on a hot day compared to the outside temperature and warm it by 7°C (13°F) at night. This temperature regulation can potentially prevent battery damage due to extreme heat or cold.

Beyond Electric Cars

The application of the electric car blanket is not limited to electric vehicles alone. The researchers believe it can also benefit domestic battery storage systems, energy storage power plants, and buildings. These areas require effective thermal management for efficient energy storage. By providing thermal regulation, the blanket could play a vital role in maintaining the longevity and performance of various energy storage systems.

Further Research and Implementation

Although the electric car blanket shows promise, more research is needed to quantify its impact on battery performance and determine the payback period for integrating the technology. Kehang Cui emphasizes the need for further investigation before drivers are likely to invest in this solution. While there is substantial work ahead, Cui believes that the blanket has the potential to enhance our daily lives and contribute to a sustainable energy system.

Key Takeaways:

  • An electric car blanket has been developed to regulate the temperature of parked electric vehicles and optimize battery performance.
  • The blanket’s outer layer reflects heat and sunlight, while the inner layer traps heat to maintain a constant temperature inside the car.
  • Tests have shown that the blanket can cool the car by 8°C (14°F) on a hot day and warm it by 7°C (13°F) at night.
  • The electric car blanket has potential applications in other areas such as domestic battery storage systems, energy storage power plants, and buildings.
  • Further research is required to determine the blanket’s impact on battery performance and assess the economic feasibility of implementing the technology.
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