NASA has developed a new cooling device for future space missions that can also be used to charge an electric vehicle in five minutes flat.
Once again, a technology developed for aerospace could be useful in our daily lives. This time it’s NASA’s new cooling system that seems to work perfectly for charging electric vehicles in minutes.
A very efficient cooling system
NASA explains in a blog post that some of the equipment used on its missions must be at a stable temperature. This is particularly the case of “nuclear fission power systems for missions to the Moon, Mars and beyond. “.
To achieve this, a NASA-sponsored team of scientists has developed technology to improve heat transfer. A discovery that has the double advantage of maintaining the material at appropriate temperatures in space, while considerably reducing their size and weight.
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The team in question, which is based at Purdue University in the US state of Indiana, experimented with a flux boiling and condensing system (Flow Boiling and Condensation Experiment – FBCE). The latter has proven sufficiently conclusive to be tested at the beginning of 2022 in microgravity conditions, but also on Earth to recharge an electric vehicle much more quickly.
Charge electric vehicles faster by dissipating heat
According to NASA, the significant growth in the fleet of electric vehicles should not hide the two biggest obstacles to their adoption: the proliferation of charging stations and the acceleration of the charging speed, which is still too long in some cases. It is on this second question that NASA’s advances make the difference.
When you charge an electric vehicle, the current flowing through the cable to the battery generates heat. To limit it, the cables currently used for “fast charging” (350 to 520 amps) are wide and heavy, which does not facilitate their handling. According to NASA, most chargers available to drivers today support currents below 150 amps.
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However, to charge a vehicle in five minutes, the charging devices must provide a current of 1,400 amps. They therefore give off much more heat which requires better temperature control. That’s where NASA’s new heat dissipation system comes in.
Concretely, a coolant that does not conduct electricity passes through the charging cable. It then captures the heat generated by the electric current, removing up to 24.22 kW of heat. A system that provides up to 2,400 amps, or 4.6 times more current than the most efficient electric chargers on the market. Enough to find 100% battery in less than five minutes.