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The USU College of Engineering partnered with the Aspire NSF Engineering Research Center to develop wireless charging pads for electric vehicles. These concrete pads, when placed in roadways, charge the batteries of electric vehicles that pass over them. As the pads charge vehicles, they produce excessive thermal energy (heat), which dissipates slowly through the surrounding concrete. This excess heat reduces the efficiency of the charging apparatus and can damage the imbedded electrical components. To manage the pad temperatures, the USU Nanoscale Thermal Energy Lab proposed to submerge the heat-generating elements in a Phase Change Material (PCM). As a solid, a PCM absorbs excess heat while maintaining the pad's optimal operation temperature. As the PCM absorbs energy, it melts and begins to heat up. PCMs don't absorb thermal energy evenly throughout their volume; the PCM closest to a heat-producing element melts long before the bulk material absorbs much energy. If the pad components were submerged in a PCM without any additional structures, some of the PCM would melt but most of its volume wouldn't be utilized.This presentation discusses an innovative static heat exchanger designed to transfers thermal energy from the heat-generating elements of wireless charging pads into surrounding Phase Change Material. Transient modeling demonstrated that the heat exchanger improved the thermal performance of the charging pads by distributing heat throughout the PCM volume. This presentation includes a discussion of the components that were fabricated in USU facilities and concludes with recommendations for future design improvements.


Utah State University

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Aerospace Engineering | Engineering | Mechanical Engineering

Static Heat Exchanger for the Wireless Charging of Electric Vehicles