With increasing energy density safety and thermal management of Li-ion batteries is becoming more and more important, because the thermal runaway can cause an ignition or even explosion with simultaneous release of toxic gases. In the last nine years we have established battery calorimetry as a versatile characterization technique, which allows advancements for the thermal management and the safety of batteries. With six adiabatic Accelerating Rate Calorimeters of different sizes and two sensitive Tian-Calvet calorimeters combined with cyclers we operate Europe’s largest battery calorimeter center, which enables the evaluation of thermodynamic, thermal and safety data on material, cell and pack level under quasiadiabatic and isoperibolic environments for both normal and abuse conditions (thermal, electrical, mechanical).
Calorimetry allows the collection of quantitative data required for optimum battery performance and safety. This information is applied to define the requirements for thermal management. It will be explained how the two different types of calorimeters can be used for studies on heat generation and dissipation of Li-ion cells. ... mehrFor that purpose, they are coupled to battery cyclers in order to perform the measurements during charging and discharging of the cells under defined thermal conditions, which are quasiadiabatic or isoperibolic. It will be shown that by measuring the specific heat capacity and the heat transfer coefficient the measured temperature data during cycling can be converted into generated and dissipated heat data, which are needed for the adjustment of the thermal management systems.
It will be presented how battery calorimeters provide thermodynamic and thermal stability data on materials level, e.g. of anodes, cathodes or electrolytes or there combinations and allow to perform safety tests on cell and pack level by applying thermal, mechanical or electrical abuse conditions. The studies on materials level are especially important for Post-Li cells, which make use of more abundant materials, such as sodium or magnesium instead of Li, nickel and cobalt, because these data help to develop safe cells from the beginning all along the value chain. For the advanced Li-ion technology, a holistic safety assessment is in the focus, because the thermal runaway can have multiple interacting causes and effects. A test in the calorimeter reveals the entire process of the thermal runaway with the different stages of exothermic reactions. As a result of the different tests quantitative and system relevant data for temperature, heat and pressure development of materials and cells are provided. In addition it will be explained how calorimeters allow studying the thermal runaway propagation in order to develop and qualify suitable countermeasures, such as heat protection barriers, which is currently becoming a very hot topic.