Here’s Why Nissan Employs Active Air Cooling In e-NV200 Battery Pack

JUN 17 2014 BY ERIC LOVEDAY 23

Nissan e-NV200

Nissan e-NV200

With the launch of the e-NV200, Nissan employs active air cooling within the battery pack for the first time ever.

However, this cooling system isn’t designed to cool the cells, but rather to “ensure optimum charging conditions at all times.” More specifically, Nissan says that e-NV200 incorporates a “bespoke cooling pack that operates automatically during quick charging.”

Nissan issued this statement on the active air-cooling/heating system in the e-NV200 battery pack:

“As in LEAF, the battery pack comprises 48 modules with a nominal capacity of 24 kWh, but it incorporates a bespoke cooling pack that operates automatically during quick charging.”

“Due to more compact packaging and because e-NV200’s duty cycle is likely to be quite different to LEAF – it is anticipated that the vehicle will be operated intensively during the working day and there will be greater use of Quick Chargers to minimise down time – cooled air from the vehicle’s heating and ventilation system is channelled over the battery cells to ensure optimum charging conditions at all times.”

“Conversely, in cold weather, the vehicle’s HVAC system wafts warm air over the battery, again to ensure it reaches its optimum operating temperature as quickly as possible.”

The fan, as well as a tiny radiator, which is plumbed into the vehicle’s HVAC system, reside in the front-most section of the battery pack. It does not direct air at the cells/pouches, but rather towards the various electronics/controllers within the pack.

It’s our collective belief that this system is mostly ineffective at cooling the pack, but likely somewhat capable of equalizing temperatures within the pack.

Editor’s Note: It’s come to our attention that we should include a link to the original source for this story.  Here’s that link to Nissan Media Europe.

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23 Comments on "Here’s Why Nissan Employs Active Air Cooling In e-NV200 Battery Pack"

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LEAFER

If Nissan does not adopt this type system into the leaf , or some similar active cooling system , My current Leaf will be my last. This is from an otherwisde happy Leaf owner in a moderate climate area Virginia, USA.
The whole point of DCFC is to be able to take a trip and use quick chargers at multiple stops, but if that results in a hot quickly degrading battery?
You can bet battery TMS will be included or at least optional in the next gen Leaf.

Anthony Fiti

While I agree it should be on the Leaf as well, the priority is for work vans to have this functionality.

In one of my projects this last semester in Business School, my team and I proposed a same-day delivery system for Target Corp. using eNV-200s, the usage patter was that from 10A-6P every day, the eNV-200 would deliver goods ordered from Target, then come back to the store once the cargo bay was empty and then quick charge while the cargo bay was being loaded for the next set of deliveries. (We took 2nd place, won $500)

Basically, it’s a lot of stress on the battery to drive all day, then come back and QC, and go driving again for a while, and QC, etc.

SeattleTeslaGuy

The priority should be all EVs can QC with no degradation to the battery. It’s like asking which cars models should get better gas mileage – correct answer is all of them.

I guess I would expect a lot more from a “leader” in EV. It certainly makes Tesla look even smarter.

One thing in Nissan’s favor – they are focusing on a work vehicle. This seems like a ripe niche for EVs. They can build volume and increase their depth of experience.

Spec9

Cool! Congrats on getting 2nd place with that great idea.

JP White

IMHO Nissan are field testing the active cooling with the eNV-200. It it works as designed in the real world, expect to see it in a future LEAF. If it doesn’t work very well, they will stick to their story its for the goods vehicle only.

If LEAF buyers knew a better LEAF with active cooling was coming, sales would drop off in warm/hot climates.

George Bower

I don’t know if I should applaud this cooling system or say something negative about it being kind of half assed.

GM and Tesla use liquid cooling which is much more effective.

Oh well at least Nissan did SOMETHING.

Paul

Ford Focus EVs use liquid cooling too! 🙂

David Murray

I’ll be amazed if some sort of TMS is not included in the next gen Leaf. I suppose if they are able to perfect their new battery chemistry to be as heat-tolerant as they claim, maybe it won’t be necessary. But since we’ve heard no news on that front, I am beginning to doubt such a chemistry exists.

ggpa

It is widely speculated that future Leafs will have a higher capacity battery back. I expect at a minimum that this type of cooling will be included, as part of that upgrade, because a higher capacity pack will generate more heat.

Spec9

Good point . . . and the addition of a thermal management system is probably what is causing Nissan to take so long before introducing larger battery packs. That makes sense.

Tesla benefited from their experience building and deploying the Roadster and thus avoided this error.

Jay Cole

*** Removed 2 picture links not intended by original author/photographer to be displayed here ***

Aaron

This is similar to what Mitsubishi did with the i-MiEV with quick charge. During quick charging (not L2), the A/C can turn on and direct cold air into the battery pack.

George B

Yes, it looks quite similar. I’m still not clear how much cooling or heating capacity this type of conditioning will provide.

Taser54

Poor design. The net effect is saddling the consumer with a large future cost if they buy the vehicle. If they lease the vehicle, the market will be soon be flooded with vehicles with effectively crippled batteries. The era of the disposable vehicle, brought to you by Nissan.

Anon

So… Is your post really a backhanded complement to Tesla for doing this right?

😉

Taser54

Nah, I’ll directly compliment Tesla and GM for their TMS. They’ll have vehicles which will be good buys on the used car market.

Electric Car Guest Drive

+1

EddyKilowatt

Although tempted to agree this seems half-*ssed, I think I’ll take the glass-half-full viewpoint that this COULD be a significant improvement over the current battery TMS, which is NO cooling.

Despite the tight packaging and restrictive flow channels, a decently designed high pressure blower, with suitable manifolding, could circulate a reasonable mass flow of air inside the battery pack… enough to make a difference, if not enough to equal the raw heat-transfer capacity of a liquid coolant. As a result, we could then see an interesting horse race in the EV market between air and liquid cooling, similar to what we see in the motorcycle market.

Alas, the blower in the pics looks more like something lifted from a slide projector, so we may be back at half-*ssed before the race even gets started. The word “wafts” in the press release certainly doesn’t inspire confidence! But still, hope springs eternal, so I’ll keep an open mind until we learn a bit more about the actual heat transfer capabilities of this new development.

DanCar

Electronic components are typically designed to operate at high temperatures, for example 140 degrees. This looks like it is designed to cool down the electronics from these high temps and not to necessarily to cool down the batteries.

SeattleTeslaGuy

It’s a little more complex than that. Power electronics are spec’d up to 150C typically. However, if you run them at those temperatures, they tend to fail sooner. Plus when you run them close to max, transients can push them over and into failure. You really do want to run them well below their max spec’d temp.

LEAFER

It does kinda look possible it is cooling a BMS or a circuit of some type and not the cells themselves…… in order to cool the cells the air must circulate around them… not sure there is a pathway.

ModernMarvelFan

So, it takes Nissan 5 years to do basically what most other EV makers already do far beyond what Nissan is planning to do…

Even if they include this finally on the next revision of the LEAF, it is still a limited system (although much better than none) for a high powered DCFC EV.

So, Nissan is finally catching up to Prius’s battery cooling technology. Isn’t that about 20 years behind?

I am sure this will help all the used car value of the LEAF.

danwat1234

Radiator in the front of the battery pack? Then it isn’t ventilation air flow but air flow from it’s own radiator which then goes back to air?