DIY Electric Car Forums banner
1 - 20 of 51 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all - I'm looking for some ideas and/or links to try and cool my Chevy Bolt batteries. Each module is roughly 13"x18" and I'm using all of the other parts (water pump, radiator, etc) from the Chevy Bolt, but because I'm having to split up the battery into two boxes and arrange them differently, I need to re-design the cooling system.

I'm having a heck of a time finding properly sized water cooling plates / chill plates / cold plates that don't cost a fortune. Going through Send-Cut-Send and getting them CNC cut, we're talking over $150 just for one, which would then need to be sandwiched with another (non-CNC), we're easily talking $200/plate, and with 10 modules I'm sinking $2k into this solution, which doesn't seem reasonable.

Does anyone know of a solution out there that would be around the $100/each mark? I do have a pretty decent shop space available with drill press, table saw, welder, 3d printer, etc...but no mill or cnc plasma table or anything.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
124 Posts
What does a cnc plasma table cost? or cnc water cutter? A cnc laser is an expensive piece of equipment but gives the best cut, literally no post clean up, whereas a water jet cutter needs some post cleanup work and a plasma cutter needs substantial post cleanup work.

If it cost $2k for the tooling, you'd obviously have to add your material cost on top, but then you have the tool for all the other parts you need to do along the way, all the little brackets, mounting points, assemblies etc. You could possibly even do some small jobs on the side for others that would recoup your costs?
Otherwise, It costs what it costs, because your engaging someone else to do the work for you using their equipment. Their time and experience has value.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
807 Posts
What does a cnc plasma table cost? or cnc water cutter? A cnc laser is an expensive piece of equipment but gives the best cut, literally no post clean up, whereas a water jet cutter needs some post cleanup work and a plasma cutter needs substantial post cleanup work.
Is that a rhetorical question ? :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
124 Posts
Is that a rhetorical question ? :)
No, its a serious question.

I needed a bunch of aluminium stuff tig welded, The price got high enough that it was easier to justify buying the welder myself for a little under $2k. Now I can tig aluminium at home and have been doing so for a few years now.
I did the same with a 3d printer, instead of paying someone else, I bought my own printer. I've since used it for a LOT of things and gotten my money's worth.
I've seen several home brew cnc setups that can be built for a pretty reasonable price and a water jet cutter can be made from a modified pressure washer which can be had for a little over $100.

This is a forum where we are all talking about diy'ing our own electric cars, why would it be a difficult proposition to diy a cnc cutting machine?
There are plenty of other people who have done it before, so its not like your going in uncharted territory. Plenty of other good solid examples to follow.

You want to be a customer? Or do you want to own the means of production?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
57 Posts
How many plates do you need? Put the total number into the SENDCUTSEND order page and see the price for all of them. The price for 1 at $150 includes all the setup charges. Or design your part so that 2 or 4 of the chill plates are joined together as a single plate. Maybe the total cost of setup will go down.

For your base plates, I bought aluminum "scrap" sheet on ebay from a company in Salt Lake City. They are called metal remnants inc.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,767 Posts
Plates? The correct sized ones are between the cells. You just need coolant flow via fittings you could drill and glue on or grab some assorted endplates. I use an old carbide tipped fine saw blade in a very old skillsaw to cut up to 1/2" aluminum, ditto for my chop and table saws.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Plates? The correct sized ones are between the cells. You just need coolant flow via fittings you could drill and glue on or grab some assorted endplates. I use an old carbide tipped fine saw blade in a very old skillsaw to cut up to 1/2" aluminum, ditto for my chop and table saws.
I believe you're confusing Bolt with Volt. :) Volt has an integrated water cooling 'end cap' thing on each module, but the Bolt has a big water cooled plate at the bottom of the pack that all of the modules sit on.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Do you have a rendering of the part you envision ?
Not yet - I'm waiting on my Bolt to get its battery replaced, then I'll be disassembling it soon after. :)

General design is that I'm creating two battery boxes, each will hold 4 of the 'large' battery modules on edge with a small module on the back. That would require 3 large cooling plates (that each cool two modules) and one smaller one for each of the battery boxes - so 6 large plates and 2 small ones. The plates themselves - I'll design them in the typical fashion of some back and forth U-channels.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
807 Posts
No, its a serious question.
Plasma units from reputable brands are not cheap. I have a Hypertherm Powermax 65, I think it goes for about $3000 new. Just the machine torch (the one for use with a CNC setup) alone for it is like $600. Chinese branded plasmas are significantly cheaper, but mileage varies there. CNC tables vary in price significantly depending on their size/features, for a 4x8 (feet) table $12,000 seems to be the average.

Fiber lasers (CO2 isn't good for metal cutting) are significantly more expensive, like $100,000 on average and again lots of variables that will affect the price. Safe to say other than 30W fiber engravers (still more expensive than plasma) these machines aren't for hobbyists.

Water jet... 20-30k, same deal with different features, sizes, etc.

With that said, CNC plasma is the most affordable metal cutting method for the garage use. If you have the patience and some skill, a CNC table can be built for fraction of the cost. I've built an 8x10 for about $2000 with everything. Plasma can also cut with a minimum kerf on thinner metal, Hypertherm makes "fine cut" consumables for their units.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
How many plates do you need? Put the total number into the SENDCUTSEND order page and see the price for all of them. The price for 1 at $150 includes all the setup charges. Or design your part so that 2 or 4 of the chill plates are joined together as a single plate. Maybe the total cost of setup will go down.

For your base plates, I bought aluminum "scrap" sheet on ebay from a company in Salt Lake City. They are called metal remnants inc.
Wow, I didn't realize the prices at quantity 10 were so different. Thanks for the suggestion! I also realized that depending on what design I chose, it was using some different kind of cutting method or something - because two designs on the same material, one was coming back at like $75/each and another was $125 - I think it was because of the sharp corners rather than circles... But either way, my final design will be way more simple than the samples I chose (an American flag and one that was just a bunch of holes).

There is a 'Metal Supermarkets' near-ish to me that I can buy aluminum plate relatively cheaply. 13"x18" 1/8" plates are $25/each in quantity of 10. I'll keep an eye on eBay for scrap once I've settled on a design!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
807 Posts
Forgot to add... CNC routers are probably the most affordable and versatile option for the small scale fabrication. Not as fast for the metal cutting (and ferrous stuff is typically too tough for them, so mostly talking aluminum), but the wide choice of materials and actual 3D capabilities make them very useful for these projects.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,972 Posts
I have no idea what they cost, but snowdog had custom cooling plates (of two different designs for different pack locations) made to work with LG Chem modules in his "Electric Supercar".

We discussed a commercially available chill plate many months ago, but it was expensive... and it's very difficult to find a past discussion without a good keyword for searching. If I run across it, I'll post a link.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I have no idea what they cost, but snowdog had custom cooling plates (of two different designs for different pack locations) made to work with LG Chem modules in his "Electric Supercar".

We discussed a commercially available chill plate many months ago, but it was expensive... and it's very difficult to find a past discussion without a good keyword for searching. If I run across it, I'll post a link.
Yes, he has a great YouTube channel that I've watched. I saw the videos about the custom cooling plates and wrote down which company he had make them. I will reach out once I have a design - I'll also reach out to some local CNC places for quotes. On the back battery pack he uses one big plate that batteries press against, and on the front he took small water blocks (maybe 1"x2"x12"?) and attached it to a thin aluminum "cold finger" that is pressed against the modules.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
171 Posts
If the modules you are dealing with are the ones I think they are, could you use these? (no affiliation)


Chris
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,972 Posts
If the modules you are dealing with are the ones I think they are, could you use these? (no affiliation)


Chris
I don't know what modules you think they are, Chris, but they Bolt modules...
Hi all - I'm looking for some ideas and/or links to try and cool my Chevy Bolt batteries. Each module is roughly 13"x18"...
... and Bolt modules are much bigger that the modules that those plates are designed for; a single Bolt module is larger than the "double" plate.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
171 Posts
I don't know what modules you think they are, Chris, but they Bolt modules...
Clearly, the ones that these plates are designed for.

I work in PD for a major OEM and this format of pack is becoming somewhat standard across several OEMs. I had read someone earlier in the thread mention LG modules and that format immediately came to mind. Turns out I am unfamiliar with the Chevy Bolt. "These modules are a different format" would have been a more mature response I guess. ;)

... and Bolt modules are much bigger that the modules that those plates are designed for; a single Bolt module is larger than the "double" plate.
Fair enough. Carry on.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
40 Posts
@CyberBill I’m in the same situation as you right now, albeit it different batteries (LG Chem 60.8v). I have my 12 batteries split into 2 packs, with 4 physically set next to each other and then 2 either above or in front in a T configuration. Besides trying to source these, I also wonder about the pattern of the heat extraction. I’m likely just going to go with a common “s” configuration that maps the individual metal plates underneath the batterie modules.

Anyway, count me subscribed and I’ll share if I progress on this front.
 
1 - 20 of 51 Posts
Top