Oil Majors Invest in Battery Cooling


Oil Majors Invest in Battery Cooling
An electric vehicle's lithium battery and heat exchangers, with a liquid cooling system . © P5h

Shell and TotalEnergies have both announced partnerships to develop electric vehicle battery immersion cooling fluids, signaling a continued positioning of e-mobility as a strategic priority by energy majors.

Most passenger car EV batteries are indirectly cooled by pumping a fluid around cells to draw heat away. Liquid immersion puts the fluid in direct contact with battery cells, allowing for more even cooling and optimization of performance. Battery immersion cooling is more common in data centers and high-performance EVs. Applications in cars are limited to high-end models due to its relatively higher cost, added complexity, material compatibility and extra weight.

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TotalEnergies and automotive parts company Valeo agreed to develop an EV battery cooling system that uses a new dielectric fluid formulated by the French energy giant. The dielectric fluid will join the company’s Quartz EV fluid range.

“This research partnership with TotalEnergies is an opportunity to create an innovative solution that will further accelerate consumer take-up of electric vehicles,” Francisco Moreno, president of Valeo’s thermal systems business group, said in a press release.

Shell and Swedish high-performance battery company Anodox began a partnership to also develop liquid immersion battery cooling. The two companies agreed to co-develop and market liquid immersion battery packs for cars, light-duty commercial vehicles and energy storage systems, according to a press release. 

“The urgency to meet a growing need for sustainable energy solutions and the need for European Energy Security, means that the demand for Anodox batteries has surged,” Anodox CEO Theodore Zannakis said in a press release.

Castrol made a similar announcement in June 2021 when it launched a dielectric direct battery cooling fluid. Specialty chemicals company Croda is also working with D2H Engineering, a specialist in thermodynamics, to develop a dielectric direct cooling fluid.

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