Experimental Investigation of Water-Cooled Heat Pipes in the Thermal Management of Lithium-Ion EV Batteries

  • Faiza M. NasirEmail author
  • Mohd Z. Abdullah
  • Mohd A. Ismail
Research Article - Mechanical Engineering


In this work, an experimental study was conducted to investigate the thermal performance of a heat pipe thermal management system for electric vehicle lithium-ion batteries. The battery cells were represented by two proxy cells with a heat source ranging from 10 to 35 W/cell. The evaporator of the heat pipes was in close contact with the battery cell surface, and the condenser was subjected to the forced convection of circulating water. The performance was characterized by the maximum surface temperature, temperature difference, total thermal resistance and Nusselt number at the condenser side. The effects of heat inputs, length of the condenser and water flowrate were also investigated. A condenser length in the range of 100–150 mm and water flowrate showed insignificant effects on the battery surface temperature and the total thermal resistance. Heat pipes were also observed to be able to reduce the battery surface temperature by 39.1% on average. They are also capable of maintaining the surface temperature below 50 °C and temperature differential below 5 °C if the heat generation of the battery cell is less than 20 W.


Heat pipes Lithium-ion Electric vehicle Thermal management Sintered wick 



Battery thermal management system


Electric vehicle


Hybrid electric vehicle


Naturally cooled condenser


Phase-change material


Thermal management system


Water-cooled condenser

List of Symbols


Thickness (m)

Mass flowrate (kg/s)


Thermal efficiency of heat pipe


Nusselt number


Surface area of the heat pipe that is exposed to the water (m2)


Specific heat capacity (J/kg K)


Diameter (m)


Uncertainty for convection coefficient


Uncertainty for the heat loss


Uncertainty for Nusselt number


Uncertainty for heat input


Uncertainty for thermal resistance


Convection heat transfer coefficient (W/m K)


Electrical current (A)


Thermal conductivity of the surrounding fluid at the condenser side (W/m2 K)


Length (m)


Heat removed from the condenser section (W)


Total thermal resistance of the system (K/W)


Average surface temperature of the proxy battery cell (°C)


Temperature of the surrounding fluid (water) on the condenser side (°C)


Water temperature at the entrance of the water tank (°C)


Water temperature at the exit of the water tank (°C)


Condenser surface temperature (°C)


Voltage (V)











Wick outer region



The authors gratefully acknowledge the supports provided by Universiti Sains Malaysia and Universiti Kuala Lumpur Malaysian Spanish Institute.


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Copyright information

© King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Mechanical SectionUniversiti Kuala Lumpur Malaysian Spanish InstituteKulimMalaysia
  2. 2.School of Mechanical EngineeringUniversiti Sains MalaysiaNibong TebalMalaysia

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