Dana Holding wins Canadian grant to improve electric vehicle battery packs

Dana Holding Corp. won a pair of grants totaling $3 million from Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) to develop technology to improve thermal management systems for battery energy storage systems in electric, plug-in hybrid-electric and hybrid-electric vehicles.

The funding comes from Canada’s ecoENERGY Innovation Initiative, which is intended to support clean energy technology.

Temperature control in electric-vehicle battery systems remains a major challenge in maximizing battery life and reliability. Dana will use this grant to seek a solution for the industry that improves the viability of electric vehicles.

The first project aims to advance the development of aluminum heat exchangers, which are used to thermally manage electric-vehicle battery systems. The grant focuses on improving fluxless aluminum brazing materials and process technology for manufacturing to increase process speeds, enhance cleanliness during production, and reduce overall cost.

Battery function and durability can be significantly compromised in cold climate conditions, such as those encountered during Canadian winters. The second project aims to address these challenges and improve battery system performance in low temperatures by developing and integrating thick-film electric surface heaters directly into the battery cooling heat exchanger. For this project, Dana will collaborate with Datec Coatings, of Mississauga, Ontario.

Dana employs nearly 630 people at five locations in Ontario, Canada. The work for these projects will be completed at Dana’s technology center in Oakville, Ontario. Both projects are part of NRCan’s ecoENERGY Innovation Initiative (ecoEII) and are expected to last about three years.

Based in Maumee, Ohio, Dana employs more than 23,000 people in 26 countries and reported 2012 sales of $7.2 billion.

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