Large Format Li-ion Calorimeter

power generation and storage
Large Format Li-ion Calorimeter (MSC-TOPS-98)
Tests Li-ion battery cells with capacities over 100Ah
Innovators at NASA Johnson Space Center have developed a method to measure the total and fractional heat response of large format Li-ion cells (cells with capacities greater than 100Ah) when driven into thermal runaway conditions. The new hardware can handle up to 40 times the energy yield of a small format iteration. By understanding the thermal runaway behavior of larger Li-ion cells, engineers can gain insight to improve the design of both the cell and battery level. This in turn helps prevent cell to cell propagation during a cell explosion, reducing both consequence of failure as well as the likelihood of loss of hardware or mission. Due to the nature of the large format cells, a completely different architecture was required for a calorimeter compared to the small format device. Large format Li-ion battery manufacturers can now benefit from testing their batteries for aerospace, automotive, military, and other heavy-duty commercial applications using this technology.

The Technology
A calorimetric device was developed to support the determination of both total energy yield and fractional energy yield (cell body vs. jellyroll vs. ejecta and gas) for large format lithium-ion battery cells with capacities greater than 100 Ah. The Large Format Thermal Runaway Calorimeter (L-FTRC) implements a novel basket capture system designed to facilitate the direct capture and temperature measurement of a completely ejected electrode winding a common occurrence in a thermal runaway event for cells of this size. The L-FTRC also makes use of new strain relief techniques for all associated instrumentation, improving measurement reliability. The L-FTRC provides a gas collection system capable of capturing the expelled gases in a manner that provides the means to analyze the overall volume of expelled gases, as well as flowrate, temperature, and chemical composition. This design enables a novel overall capability. The Large Format Li-Ion Calorimeter is at TRL 6 (which means a system/subsystem prototype has been demonstrated in a relevant environment) and the related patent application is now available to license and develop into a commercial product. Please note that NASA does not manufacture products itself for commercial sale.
Large Format Li-Ion Thermal Runaway Calorimeter Layout: The Large Format Li-Ion Thermal Runaway Calorimeter's portability contributes to an array of applications.
  • Permits quantification of the total thermal runaway energy yield from large-format lithium-ion cells with capacities over 100Ah
  • Allows determination of the fraction of thermal runaway energy that conducts through the cell casing, ejected electrode winding, and vented gases/effluents
  • Permits volumetric measurement of exhaust gases
  • Permits sampling of exhaust gases for compositional analysis

  • Relevant to any application using large format Li-ion cells that also requires a safe design (primary industrial users may be aerospace, automotive, and military)
Technology Details

power generation and storage
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