NASA is working on a new technology that it says could allow electric vehicles to charge much faster than they are today.
NASA is said to have developed a new technology that will make the charging process of electric vehicles much faster than they are today. NASA claims this new and advanced technology can be easily used in high-power DC charging stations. A NASA team working under the leadership of Purdue University Professor Issam Mudawar has developed a Flow Boiling and Condensation Experiment (FBCE) technique that enables two-phase fluid flow and heat transfer experiments in the microgravity environment of the International Space Station (ISS). NASA also said in the statement that it delivered the thermal control technology to the International Space Station in August 2021 and began providing microgravity flow boiling data in early 2022.
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The space agency further explained that the FBCE’s flow boiling module includes heat-generating devices mounted along the walls of the flow channel into which the coolant is supplied in a liquid state. As the device heats up, so does the temperature of the liquid in the channel, and eventually, the liquid close to the walls begins to boil. This boiling liquid forms many small bubbles on the wall, which separate from the wall at high frequency, continuously drawing the liquid from the inner region of the channel towards the channel wall.
The process is said to transfer heat efficiently by exploiting the lower temperature of the liquid and the subsequent phase change from liquid to vapor. “The process is greatly improved when the liquid supplied to the channel is subcooled well below its boiling point. This new subcooled flow boiling technique greatly improves heat transfer efficiency compared to other methods,” NASA said in a statement.
NASA claims that Midawar’s team has applied the same principles learned in FBCE to the electric vehicle charging process. For EV charging, a dielectric liquid coolant is pumped through the charging cable, capturing the heat generated by the current-carrying conductors. Subcooled flow boiling enables the unit to remove up to 24.22 kW of heat. NASA claims the charging system can deliver up to 2,400 amps of power.
Interestingly, many of the technologies NASA has developed in the past have found successful applications on Earth, especially in the automotive industry. The latest of these may be new temperature control technology. This could allow EVs to charge faster by improving heat transfer, thereby ensuring higher charging power levels.
Date of first release: October 23, 2022 at 10:54 am IST