Advanced thermal management system driven by phase change materials for power lithium-ion batteries: A review

Jiangyun Zhang, Dan Shao, Liqin Jiang, Guoqing Zhang, Hongwei Wu, Rodney Day, Wenzhao Jiang

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Power lithium-ion batteries are widely utilized in electric vehicles (EVs) and hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) for their high energy densities and long service-life. However, thermal safety problems mainly resulting from thermal runaway (TR) must be solved. In general, temperature directly influences the performance of lithium-ion batteries. Hence, an efficient thermal management system is very necessary for battery modules/packs. One particular approach, phase change material (PCM)-based cooling, has exhibited promising applicability due to prominent controlling-temperature and stretching-temperature capacities. However, poor thermal conductivity performance, as the main technical bottleneck, is limiting the practical application. Nevertheless, only promoting the thermal conductivity is far from enough considering the practical application in EVs/HEVs. To fix these flaws, firstly, the heat generation/transfer mechanisms of lithium-ion power batteries were macro- and microscopically reviewed. Following that, the thermal conductivity, structural stability, and flame retardancy of PCM are thoroughly discussed, to which solutions to the aforementioned performances are systematically reviewed. In addition, battery thermal management system (BTMS) employing PCM is illustrated and compared. Eventually, the existing challenges and future directions of PCM-based BTMS are discussed. In summary, this review presents effective approaches to upgrade the PCM performances for high-density lithium-ion BTMS. These strategies furtherly accelerate the commercialization process of PCM BTMS.
Original languageEnglish
Article number112207
Number of pages35
JournalRenewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews
Early online date10 Feb 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2022


  • Hybrid cooling system
  • Lithium-ion power batteries
  • Phase change materials
  • Preheating system
  • Thermal management
  • Thermal safety


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