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Technotrans developing cooling solutions for NIO battery swap stations in Europe

NIO Power Swap Station. Source: NIO

Thermal management solutions company technotrans SE is coming up with efficient and reliable cooling systems for the 'Power Swap Stations' that the Chinese EV manufacturer NIO is expected to set up Europe in starting this year. About 1,000 such battery swapping stations are being planned for the region by 2025.

To cool the replaced electric car batteries, technotrans has already installed a prototype of its cutting-edge cooling system for the first swapping station set up in Oslo. "We are convinced with technical expertise and meaningful references. We are proud to be able to support this forward-looking project," says Andreas Seifert, Business Development Director at technotrans who is responsible for the Asian market.

To change the battery, users drive into the station. There, a robot equipped with state-of-the-art sensors exchanges the discharged battery for a full one. The cooling system is an elementary component of the functionality of the Power Swap Station. Without this, the batteries would overheat when charging in the station, explains Seifert.

"Every battery is different: Old, new, half-charged, or empty batteries are accepted and charged in the station. Each battery, therefore, requires individual cooling". The cooling system has a CE quality seal and is characterized by up to 22 kilowatts of liquid-based cooling from a glycol-water mixture, he adds.

The development, which started about a year ago, also focused on energy efficiency. The battery exchange station is powered by the energy contained in the exchangeable batteries and thus works completely independent. In the future, technotrans aims to bring the entire exchange process under three minutes instead of five minutes.

"Helping to drive this innovative project of the energy turnaround in Europe forward contributes fully to our sustainability strategy," says Michael Finger, CEO of technotrans SE. "With our cooling solutions, we are part of the electrification and thus reduction of our customers' CO 2 footprint."

The cooperation partner for technotrans is the Shanghai-based company Swap, which specializes in the production and sale of vehicle batteries and is also part of the NIO Group. In the coming years, the Chinese firm is targeting fully automatic battery replacement to be offered in parking lots and at gas stations.

NIO has already opened its 700th battery exchange station in China at the end of 2021. Based on a strategic partnership with a large chain of petrol stations in the country, the expansion is gaining huge momentum. 

Author : Dhiyanesh Ravichandran
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