During operation of the cooling system, impurities such as water, metallic particles or ions can occur, which lead to a degradation of the dielectric properties. Therefore, the use of filters or separators in cooling circuits is common. However, their ability to absorb impurities is limited. Thus, when designing a filter or separator, it is important to know what type and amounts of contaminants are expected in a system in order to determine replacement intervals.
To reduce the need for individual time-consuming and cost-intensive tests that have been common practice up to now, OWI Science for Fuels and the Chair of Thermodynamics of Mobile Energy Conversion Systems at RWTH Aachen University are developing a method that can be used to predict the service life of filters and necessary replacement intervals for a defined storage capacity and typical operating conditions. Specifically, the introduction of ions into cooling media for fuel cell systems and their removal by means of ion exchanger filters will be investigated. A model will be developed that can be individually adapted and scaled to different system architectures. The model reduces both the development and testing effort as well as the development times for the design of the cleaning unit.
The knowledge gained about the efficient cooling of electric drives should be universally usable for all cooling circuits of electrical components, in particular for applications with low-temperature proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells, regardless of whether these are used in cars, commercial vehicles, boats, etc.