National Lab Testing Demonstrates Value in Early Detection

Sandia National Laboratory recently conducted third-party testing to determine the state of stability of lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries. Li-ion Tamer (Gen2 system) was included in the testing and demonstrated good results for its ability to improve Li-ion battery safety through off-gas detection. The U.S. Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) funded the study.

Li-ion Tamer detects off-gassing, a precursor to battery failure, providing an early warning system. This allows for proactive measures, such as isolating the battery from charge/load, which can prevent thermal runaway.

In tests conducted by third-party DNV-GL, Li-ion Tamer provided 6.4 minutes of early warning prior to thermal runaway. Furthermore, the thermal runaway of the cell was entirely avoided by stopping the charge when indicated by the Li-ion Tamer system. These findings underscore the effectiveness of Li-ion Tamer in enhancing the safety of battery energy storage systems (BESSs)

As mentioned by name in the report issued in February, Li-ion Tamer demonstrated strong early warning for both overtemp and overcharge for single cells and small packs (Loraine Torres-Castro et al. 2024 J. Electrochem. Soc. 171 020520). It also demonstrated the ability to prevent thermal runaway if abuse is removed when the early warning signal (overtemp and overcharge) is received.

In addition, Li-ion Tamer outperformed the hydrogen sensor in every test in the study. Hydrogen was only detected at thermal runaway with no early warning, but Li-ion Tamer detects first venting to provide early warning.

The report states that “current battery management systems (BMS) are not well-equipped to detect thermal runaway failure until that failure is inevitable” (Torres-Castro et al. 2024 J. Electrochem. Soc. 171 020520). Temperature and voltage are not good indicators of thermal runaway, either. “This level of heat and voltage fluctuation may be difficult to detect within a localized area of a battery pack” (Torres-Castro et al. 2024 J. Electrochem. Soc. 171 020520).

“We are pleased with Li-ion Tamer’s testing results,” said Steve Cummings, director of Nexceris’s sensor business unit, which makes Li-ion Tamer. It provides third-party validation to our customers and provides us with a direction for further improvement of the product.”

The full report is available online.