Ovonic Preps “Cool” Nimh Battery – Brief Article
GM Ovonic is doing prototype testing on a new hybrid-specific nickel-metal hydride battery. Ovonic’s new battery is liquid-cooled, with intercell cooling passages between each pair of cells, to manage the heat generated by the constant drain/charge cycle inherent in hybrids. It’s also designed for high power output to make it more effective for power assist purposes. The liquid cooling comes without weight penalty because the electrodes are thinner and smaller than those used in a pure EV NiMH battery. A new one-piece case also reduces size and cost. With a specific power rating of 550 W/kg, it is tailored for power hungry hybrid applications. In contrast, Ovonic’s current NiMH battery has a power rating of 220 W/kg. There are over 300 hand-built units in the field undergoing testing, with several automakers involved in the evaluation. Volume production could begin in 2001 at the earliest according to Ovonic.
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