Insights from the BattCave

EV Battery Safety Research Utilizes Ultrasound-based Technology

  • Battery safety is imperative for the widespread adoption of battery and battery-powered systems

  • A major concern of global EV and energy stationary storage (ESS) market adoption is the possibility of a battery/system failure, leading to fires and explosions, and the dangers and publicity associated with them as seen in headlines all over the world

  • Thermal runaway events, and ensuing fires and explosions, are the primary cause of catastrophic lithium-ion battery failure*

New Methods to Avoid Thermal Runaway in Lithium-ion Batteries

The Journal of Power Sources recently published a peer-reviewed paper detailing Titan Advanced Energy Solutions’ approach to detecting and avoiding thermal runaway events affecting lithium-ion batteries.

Research Highlights

  • Ultrasound can detect lithium-ion battery failure induced by overcharge

  • Two points of battery failure were identified including an actionable warning and an emergency stop, “e-stop”

  • Using ultrasound, acceleration of failure conditions may be stopped in real time to avoid further stressing a battery and preventing catastrophic events

Early Warning System Overview

Titan’s work is centered on developing an ultrasound-based early warning system that monitors transmitted and reflected signals through a battery or pack. These signals contain critical real time information about the battery state. When a battery enters an abnormal condition, the ultrasonic signals deviate from those obtained during normal operation, and specific signal anomalies form signatures of potential failure that are processed to trigger warnings and emergency stops.

*New international regulations on EV development specify that to be compliant a battery system must provide either a warning to allow egress or a 5 minute warning prior to the presence of a hazardous condition that could lead to thermal runaway.

Acknowledgements: This material is based upon work supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, under Award Number(s) DE SC0020735