An experimental cooling technique developed by NASA engineers for the International Space Station has been adapted to electric cars to drastically reduce the time it takes to recharge their batteries.
New NASA-funded technology for future space missions may well charge an electric car in just five minutes once it is adapted on Earth, paving the way for faster adoption of electric vehicles.
The “subcooled flow boiling” technique, developed jointly with researchers at Purdue University in Indiana, significantly improves heat transfer efficiency compared to other approaches and could be used to control the temperatures of future systems in space, but also electric cars.
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Electric cars could soon be charged at full speed
Purdue University charging cable can provide 2400 amps, which is well above the 1,400 amps needed to reduce the charging time of an electric car to five minutes. Currently, the most advanced electric vehicle battery chargers can handle up to 520 ampswhile most consumer chargers support less than 150 amps.
Issam Mudawar, professor of mechanical engineering at Purdue, explains that this technology can cool cables carrying high loads, potentially allowing faster flow of electricity without the risk of components overheating. The process could remove at least 10 times more heat than pure liquid cooling. Purdue says the prototype cable can reduce heat up to 24.22 kilowattsand thus considerably improve the maximum powers supported by chargers and batteries.
The university is said to have already entered into negotiations with various companies that manufacture the components essential to the charging process, but it will take wait several months before actual testing can begin. It is hoped that this revolutionary technology will be quickly adopted by the automotive industry. Tesla now has 10,000 Superchargers in Europe, so it will necessarily take several years to see such technology accessible to everyone.