Press Release: NEVAC

Novel EVAporative Cooled battery technology developed by local researchers and industry provides a solution to overheating batteries

A novel technology which cools Lithium-ion batteries through evaporation has been developed by local researchers and industry. The cooling technology developed in project NEVAC will overcome limitations posed by overheating batteries caused by fast charging and discharging through high current applications.

Project NEVAC is a collaboration between the Institute of Aerospace Technologies at the University of Malta, and Abertax Kemtronics. NEVAC was financed by the Malta Council for Science & Technology, through the FUSION: R&I Technology Development Programme. The consortium received circa 200,000 Euro funding for this research project.

The Minister for Equality, Research and Innovation Dr Owen Bonnici attended the Public Engagement event held at the EsploraPlanetarium, Chaplain’s Hall at Esplora Interactive Science Centre, Kalkara, to promote this innovative research and celebrate the work and results accomplished by the researchers involved. During his address he said that: “Besides the commercial value of such a venture the knowledge transfer that goes on when public and private entities work together, as in such consortia is actually priceless, and will keep on giving for years to come. Without such collaborations, these R&I projects would be impossible, and I cannot stress enough the importance for our country to keep investing in the strengthening of the research and innovation pillar which is the key for our economic growth and competitive impact.” He added that: “Malta is no longer in the backseat, waiting for foreign researchers to come up with the solutions it needs. Our Maltese researchers are now working alongside international entities and researchers, sometimes even leading the way.”

The Executive Chairman of the Malta Council for Science and Technology, Dr Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando, during his opening address said that: “MCST focuses on cultivating a culture of research and innovation in our country. We are achieving this through our various funding programmes, including the national fund called FUSION. NEVAC is another successful and innovative project funded through the FUSION Technology Development Programme, and it has now entered an exciting new phase which will see the researchers filing an international patent.” He added that: “The excellence and achievements of projects funded by the Council instil a great sense of pride in me, not only as the Executive Chairman of MCST, but also as a Maltese citizen. It is only through our collective efforts that the most fruitful rewards of scientific and technological research can be reaped.”

Lithium-ion batteries are considered as a key enabling component which can power mobile phones, laptops and electric vehicles. However, these suffer from thermal limitations. The behaviour of the battery is temperature-dependent and therefore effective thermal management is very important.  Project NEVAC developed a self-sustained cooling mechanism, that can allow to charge and discharge the batteries at a higher rate. NEVAC exploits the concept of boiling, having multiple advantages such as the entire battery pack maintaining a single temperature, and the latent heat can extract a higher magnitude of heat from the battery cells.

Dr Robert Camilleri, NEVAC’s Project Leader within the institute of Aerospace Technology stated that: “It is becoming more obvious that we need to move towards electric transportation. However, there are still concerns about vehicle range and the ability for fast charging. Battery heating is one of the main limitations for fast charging because high current input generates excessive heat in battery cells, and presents risks for thermal runaway. Project NEVAC addresses this limitation by developing a novel technology that is able to cool battery cells effectively and therefore unlocking the ability for fast charging.”

Technical Presentations were delivered by the project team and a panel discussion led by Dr Robert Camilleri, took place around the field.

The event was live-streamed and may be followed:

https://fb.watch/8Km9MuC2rt/

Tkessiħ ta’ batteriji permezz tal-proċess tal-Evaporazzjoni

Teknoloġija ġdida żviluppata minn riċerkaturi u l-industrija lokali

Teknoloġija ġdida li tkessaħ batteriji Lithium ion permezz tal-proċess tal-evaporazzjoni ġiet żviluppa minn riċerkaturi lokali u l-industrija. It-teknoloġija żviluppata fil-proġett NEVAC se tegħleb d-diffikultà li meta batteriji jkunu qed jiġu ċċarġjati u qed iwaqqgħu iċ-charge malajr, permezz ta’ tagħmir ta’ kurrent għoli, jisħnu żżejjed.

Il-Proġett NEVAC huwa kollaborazzjoni bejn l-Istitut tat-Teknoloġija Aerospazjali fl-Università ta’ Malta, u Abertax Kemtronics, u ffinanzjat permezz tal-programm FUSION tal- R & I, amministrat mill-Kunsill Malti għax-Xjenza u t-Teknoloġija. Il-konsorzju rċieva madwar 200,000 euro f’fondi għal dan il-proġett ta’ riċerka.

Il-Ministru għall-Ugwaljanza, ir-Riċerka, u l-Innovazzjoni, l-Onorevoli Owen Bonnici attenda attività bil-parteċipazzjoni tal-pubbliku li saret l-EsploraPlanetarium, fiċ-Chaplain’s Hall, iċ-Ċentru Interattiv tax-Xjenza, il-Kalkara,  sabiex jippromwovi din ir-riċerka innovattiva u biex jiċċelbra x-xogħol u r-riżultati miksuba mir-riċerkaturi involuti. Waqt l-indirizz tiegħu huwa qal:  “Minbarra l-valur kummerċjali ta’ proġett bħal dan, it-trasferiment tal-għarfien li jsir meta entitajiet pubbliċi u privati jaħdmu flimkien bħal f’konsorzji bħal dawn, huwa fil-fatt imprezzabbli u se jkompli jrendi anke’ fil-ġejjieni.

Mingħajr kollaborazzjonijiet bħal dawn, dawn il-proġetti tal-R & I jkunu impossibbli, u ma nistax nenfasizza biżżejjed l-importanza għal pajjiżna li jkompli jinvesti fit-tisħiħ tal-pilastru tar-riċerka u l-innovazzjoni, li huwa ċ-ċavetta għat-tkabbir ekonomiku u l-impatt kompetittiv tagħna. Malta m’għadhiex fuq wara nett, tistenna li riċerkaturi barranin joħorġu bis-soluzzjonijiet li għandha bżonn. Ir-riċerkaturi Maltin tagħna issa qed jaħdmu flimkien ma’ entitajiet u riċerkaturi internazzjonali u xi drabi saħansitra jmexxu t-triq. ”

Iċ-Chairman Eżekuttiv tal-Kunsill Malti għax-Xjenza u t-Teknoloġija, Dr Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando, qal li: “L-MCST qed jaħdem qatiegħ sabiex irawwem kultura ta’ riċerka u innovazzjoni f’pajjiżna. Dan l-għan qed jintlaħaq permezz ta’ diversi programmi ta’ fondi offruti f’dan il-qasam, fosthom il-fond nazzjonali FUSION. NEVAC, huwa proġett innovattiv ieħor ta’ suċċess, iffinanzjat mill- FUSION Technology Development Programme, li daħal f’fażi eċitanti oħra fejn ir-ricerkaturi se jkunu qed japplikaw għal patent internazzjonali. Huma proġetti ta’ din il-kwalità li jagħmluni kburi mhux biss bħala Chairman Eżekuttiv tal-entità, iżda wkoll bħala ċittadin Malti.”

Huwa żied jgħid li “huwa permezz ta’ sforzi kollettivi li jirnexxielna niksbu l-aqwa riżultati fir-riċerka marbuta max-xjenza u t-teknoloġija.”

Il-batteriji Lithium ion huma kkunsidrati bħala komponenti ewlenin li jħaddmu t-telephones ċellulari, laptops u vetturi li jaħdmu bl-elettriku. Iżda dawn ibatu minn limitazzjoni tas-sħana. Il-mod kif taħdem il-batterija tiddependi mit-temperatura u il-mod kif tiġi immaniġjata s-sħana hija importanti ħafna.

Il -proġett NEVAC żviluppa mekkaniżmu li jkessah il-batteriji, u li permezz tiegħu tista’ tiċċarġja u tbatti l-batteriji b’rata ta’ kurrent ogħli mingħajr ma jisħnu. NEVAC jisfrutta l-kunċett tat-togħlija ta’ likwidu apposta, li għandu vantaġġi varji, bħall per eżempju: il-battery pack sħiħa żżomm temperatura waħda, u l-kunċett jiġbed sħana akbar miċ-ċelloli tal-batteriji.

Dr Robert Camilleri, il-mexxej tal-proġett NEVAC fi ħdan l-istitut tat-Teknoloġija Aerospazjali fl-Università qal li: “Qed isir aktar ovvju li rridu nimxu lejn it-trasport bl-elettriku, iżda hemm it-tħassib ta’ kemm il-vetturi jistgħu jiċċarġjaw il-batteriji malajr. Waħda mill-akbar limitazzjonijiet li hemm biex wieħed jiċċarġja batterija malajr hija li din tisħon ħafna għaliex il-kurrent jiġġenera sħana żejda u tikkrea riskji, inkluż dak li tista’ taqbad. Il-proġett NEVAC indirizza dawn il-limitazzjonijiet billi żviluppa teknoloġija ġdida li kapaċi tkessaħ iċ-ċelloli tal-batteriji b’mod effettiv u b’hekk tipprovdi possibiltà li jiċċarġjaw malajr.”

It-tim tal-proġett ta preżentazzjonijiet tekniċi dwar il-proġett u saret diskussjoni minn kelliema esperti mmexija minn Dr Robert Camilleri, dwar il-qasam tas-suġġett.

L-avveniment ġie strimjat live u jista’ jiġi segwit permezz tal-ħolqa li jmiss:

https://fb.watch/8Km9MuC2rt/

This article was last updated on: October 20, 2021