Of late, sustainability has been the buzzword in all fields of technology. Still, particularly, in the HVAC-R field, lot of true innovations are occurring, which will not only accelerate our journey towards zero emission but also help in building a sustainable future.

As the periphery of the HVAC-R field is ever growing, the innovations that are happening here are multidimensional. Today, in this article, I will talk about a few of such recent developments in different areas of this industry targeting more efficient and eco-friendly cooling.

An appreciable automobile coolant

Recently, BASF, the company that creates chemistry for a sustainable future – and combines economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility, has rolled out a nice product range – new versions of GLYSANTIN – to ensure technologies of future mobility.

They have been launched among the new product range of biomass balanced coolants to the European aftersales market (aftermarket). For the products offered under the GLYSANTIN ECO BMB line, the fossil raw materials are replaced by bio-based raw materials at the beginning of the value chain according to a mass balance approach. This claim is certified by REDcert, a provider of certification systems and audited by TÜV Nord. As a result of using bio-based instead of fossil raw materials, CO2 emissions are significantly reduced when producing the GLYSANTIN ECO BMB series.

Strongly believing in sustainable product solutions the brand has thus completely changed all GLYSANTIN offers ranging from 1L to 60L packaging into their corresponding GLYSANTIN ECO BMB counterparts.

GLYSANTIN ECO products are part of the brand’s sustainability commitment to continuously contribute to a more sustainable future. GLYSANTIN’s sustainability approach covers various aspects. On the products’ composition side, it includes low product carbon footprint and circular solutions. Sustainable transport as well as sustainable packaging of goods play an equally important role. GLYSANTIN’s 1L aftermarket bottles, marketed in Europe since 2019, employ the use of recycled plastic. Additional regulatory and sustainability services, as for example, dedicated support for Life Cycle Analyses (LCA) support customers to comply with regulatory guardrails and to increase their sustainability profile. The brand’s comprehensive approach also includes the development of dedicated coolants to enable advancements in electrified powertrain technologies.

Complementing GLYSANTIN’s ECO product range, the GLYSANTIN ELECTRIFIED product family bundles the brand’s premium engine coolant solutions suitable for all modern powertrains. While traditional GLYSANTIN premium products used in Internal Combustion Engines (ICE) are already also in use for hybrid technologies and battery electric vehicles, new dedicated products for fuel cell and battery electric vehicles have been developed for enhanced safety and performance. With a very low electrical conductivity, solutions such as GLYSANTIN FC G20 ELECTRIFIED and GLYSANTIN G22 ELECTRIFIED, have been specifically designed to deliver, both, manifold protection and safety of the respective electrical system.

The products in the GLYSANTIN range reliably protect engines all year round from corrosion, overheating and frost, even under extreme climatic conditions. BASF first patented GLYSANTIN in 1929 and the coolants from Ludwigshafen have been very popular with motorists ever since. The proprietary products have the most OEM approvals from the large global industrial and automotive engine manufacturers. The company works in cooperation with the leading engine producers worldwide to ensure that the GLYSANTIN range always fulfils the latest demands.

A technological leap forward in battery cooling plate

Using nature as a model, MAHLE has now achieved a technological leap forward with its new battery cooling plate. The group’s engineers have developed a bionic structure – which is one modeled on nature – for the cooling channels that cause the coolant to flow differently. This significantly improves the thermodynamic performance and structural-mechanical properties of the cooling plate.

As a result, MAHLE has been able to increase cooling performance by 10% and reduce pressure loss by 20%. Consequently, the battery can be reliably and homogeneously kept within the necessary temperature window. It thus becomes more efficient and can be charged more quickly. In addition, its service life is increased. On top of this, the company has reduced the amount of material used for the plate by up to 15%, thus saving 15% CO2. It will present its new bionic battery cooling plate to the public for the first time at the IAA Mobility. The automotive trade fair will take place in Munich from September 4 to 10, 2023.

Detailing on the development, Dr. Uli Christian Blessing, Head of Global Development Thermal Management at MAHLE, said, “With our new battery cooling plate, we are breaking away from technical geometries and instead using natural structures, such as the coral shape-with outstanding effect for our cooling technology and great advantages in structural stability to boot.”

Lithium-ion batteries are highly temperature-sensitive. The cell temperature should not exceed 40 degrees Celsius over longer periods – even under extreme conditions such as fast charging. At the same time, the temperature distribution across all cells must be as uniform as possible. The batteries are therefore usually cooled via flow-through plates.

In the latest development from MAHLE, the flow rate of the coolant is controlled according to demand. Especially in the case of small temperature differences between battery cells and coolant, heat transfer is improved by faster flow rates. The bionic battery cooling plate from MAHLE works so efficiently that the temperature range can be reduced by 50% and peak temperatures in particular can be significantly lowered. In this way, the group makes a major contribution to the service life and performance of the expensive battery.

And the bionic structure also offers design advantages. Greater rigidity makes it possible to use the battery cooling plate with lower material thicknesses. This further improves its effectiveness. In addition, there are more degrees of freedom to enable new manufacturing processes with less energy and material input, which is a contribution to sustainability.

For well over a decade, MAHLE has been developing systems for cooling lithium-ion batteries for small cars through to large commercial vehicles, making it one of the pioneers in this field of technology.

New solution for cooling of data centers

At CES in January 2023, Valeo and ZutaCore publicised an agreement to research and bring to market a new method of liquid cooling for the data centres. Recently, at Dell Technologies World, they have announced the Zutacore HyperCool solution equipped with Valeo’s new 3U Water Heat Reuse Unit. It offers optimized reliability and performance of the servers – thanks to a very high performance two-phase, dielectric liquid cooling of the chips for edge computing data centers.

Building on its considerable expertise in high-performance thermal systems, Valeo has developed a technology that maximizes both the efficiency and the reliability of data centers. Based on two-phase, direct-on-chip, dielectric liquid cooling, which is itself intelligently cooled by the building’s water circuit, the Zutacore HyperCool solution equipped with Valeo’s new 3U Water Heat Reuse Unit could consume up to five times less energy than air cooling solutions and unlock five times more computing power for a given volume.

The Valeo 3U Water Heat reuse compact cooling modules are easily integrated in the server and downtime and maintenance is reduced – thanks to multiple redundancies and a new system of swappable modules, making it possible to replace the pumps without impacting the overall performance of the system.

Zutacore HyperCool equipped with Valeo’s new 3U Water Heat Reuse Unit reduces the carbon footprint of the data centers – thanks to the low energy consumption of the cooling system and recovery of the heat dissipated by the servers for heating the building.

Highlighting their target,  Udi Paret, President US ZutaCore, said, “At ZutaCore, we are committed to making net zero emissions a reality by developing innovative liquid cooling solutions for the data industry. Reducing energy, water, and land usage, as well as emphasizing recyclability and using sustainable materials, is critical for the data industry to achieve its net zero emissions goals. Together with the Valeo 3U Water Heat Reuse Unit that can support up to 78kW of rack power, ZutaCore is proud to be at the forefront of sustainable dielectric liquid cooling solutions.“

Expressing their commitment, Francisco Moreno, President of Valeo Thermal Systems Business Group said, “today, data centers already account for 5% of the world’s electricity consumption, and they are experiencing double-digit growth. At Valeo, we are proud to work with our partner ZutaCore and to leverage our extensive knowledge of thermal systems in automotive to provide innovative cooling solutions that make data centres more reliable, but also reduce their impact on the environment.“

By P. K. Chatterjee (PK)


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