skip to main content
DOE PAGES title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Modelling and experiments to identify high-risk failure scenarios for testing the safety of lithium-ion cells

Abstract

Intentionally inducing worst-case thermal runaway scenarios in Li-ion cells on-demand is a definitive way to test the efficacy of battery systems in safely mitigating the consequences of catastrophic failure. An internal short-circuiting (ISC) device is implanted into three 18650 cell designs: one standard, one with a bottom vent, and one with a thicker casing. Through an extensive study of 228 cells, the position at which thermal runaway initiates is shown to greatly affect the tendency of cells to rupture and incur side-wall breaches at specific locations. The risks associated with each failure mechanism and position of the ISC device are quantified using a custom calorimeter that can decouple the heat from ejected and non-ejected contents. Furthermore the causes of high-risk failure mechanisms, such as bursting and side-wall breaches, are elucidated using high-speed synchrotron X-ray imaging at 2000 frames per second and image-based 3D thermal runaway computational models, which together are used to construct a comprehensive description of external risks based on internal structural and thermal phenomena.

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1];  [2]; ORCiD logo [2];  [1]; ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [3]; ORCiD logo [3];  [3]; ORCiD logo [2];  [4]; ORCiD logo [3];  [3];  [1];  [2]
  1. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
  2. NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX (United States)
  3. Univ. College London, London (United Kingdom)
  4. The European Synchrotron (ESRF), Grenoble (France)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Vehicle Technologies Office (EE-3V)
OSTI Identifier:
1496843
Report Number(s):
NREL/JA-5400-71712
Journal ID: ISSN 0378-7753
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC36-08GO28308
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Power Sources
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 417; Journal Issue: C; Journal ID: ISSN 0378-7753
Publisher:
Elsevier
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
25 ENERGY STORAGE; 33 ADVANCED PROPULSION SYSTEMS; Li-ion batteries; thermal runaway; X-ray imaging; calorimetry; computational modeling

Citation Formats

Finegan, Donal P., Darst, John, Walker, William, Li, Qibo, Yang, Chuanbo, Jervis, Rhodri, Heenan, Thomas M. M., Hack, Jennifer, Thomas, James C., Rack, Alexander, Brett, Dan J. L., Shearing, Paul R., Keyser, Matt A., and Darcy, Eric. Modelling and experiments to identify high-risk failure scenarios for testing the safety of lithium-ion cells. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. doi:10.1016/j.jpowsour.2019.01.077.
Finegan, Donal P., Darst, John, Walker, William, Li, Qibo, Yang, Chuanbo, Jervis, Rhodri, Heenan, Thomas M. M., Hack, Jennifer, Thomas, James C., Rack, Alexander, Brett, Dan J. L., Shearing, Paul R., Keyser, Matt A., & Darcy, Eric. Modelling and experiments to identify high-risk failure scenarios for testing the safety of lithium-ion cells. United States. doi:10.1016/j.jpowsour.2019.01.077.
Finegan, Donal P., Darst, John, Walker, William, Li, Qibo, Yang, Chuanbo, Jervis, Rhodri, Heenan, Thomas M. M., Hack, Jennifer, Thomas, James C., Rack, Alexander, Brett, Dan J. L., Shearing, Paul R., Keyser, Matt A., and Darcy, Eric. Fri . "Modelling and experiments to identify high-risk failure scenarios for testing the safety of lithium-ion cells". United States. doi:10.1016/j.jpowsour.2019.01.077. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1496843.
@article{osti_1496843,
title = {Modelling and experiments to identify high-risk failure scenarios for testing the safety of lithium-ion cells},
author = {Finegan, Donal P. and Darst, John and Walker, William and Li, Qibo and Yang, Chuanbo and Jervis, Rhodri and Heenan, Thomas M. M. and Hack, Jennifer and Thomas, James C. and Rack, Alexander and Brett, Dan J. L. and Shearing, Paul R. and Keyser, Matt A. and Darcy, Eric},
abstractNote = {Intentionally inducing worst-case thermal runaway scenarios in Li-ion cells on-demand is a definitive way to test the efficacy of battery systems in safely mitigating the consequences of catastrophic failure. An internal short-circuiting (ISC) device is implanted into three 18650 cell designs: one standard, one with a bottom vent, and one with a thicker casing. Through an extensive study of 228 cells, the position at which thermal runaway initiates is shown to greatly affect the tendency of cells to rupture and incur side-wall breaches at specific locations. The risks associated with each failure mechanism and position of the ISC device are quantified using a custom calorimeter that can decouple the heat from ejected and non-ejected contents. Furthermore the causes of high-risk failure mechanisms, such as bursting and side-wall breaches, are elucidated using high-speed synchrotron X-ray imaging at 2000 frames per second and image-based 3D thermal runaway computational models, which together are used to construct a comprehensive description of external risks based on internal structural and thermal phenomena.},
doi = {10.1016/j.jpowsour.2019.01.077},
journal = {Journal of Power Sources},
number = C,
volume = 417,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {2}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record

Citation Metrics:
Cited by: 7 works
Citation information provided by
Web of Science

Figures / Tables:

Fig. 1 Fig. 1: (a) Illustrations showing the various positions of the ISC device in the test-cells. (b) Plot showing the pressure at which the bottom and top (CID) vents activate and the cell bursts, for cells with a bottom vent feature. The bottom vent is shown in the inset photograph. (c)more » Plot showing the pressure at which the top vent (CID) activates and the cell bursts for cells without a bottom vent. The inset photograph shows the base of the cell without a bottom vent. (d) Illustration showing an external view of the assembled fractional thermal runaway calorimeter (FTRC) and (e) illustration showing a view of the internal components of the FTRC, highlighting the insulating ceramic bushings (blue) between the cell and ejecta chambers, as well as the components inside the bore chamber that capture the heat from escaping gases and debris. (For interpretation of the references to color in this figure legend, the reader is referred to the Web version of this article.)« less

Save / Share:

Works referencing / citing this record:

Perspective—From Calorimetry Measurements to Furthering Mechanistic Understanding and Control of Thermal Abuse in Lithium-Ion Cells
journal, January 2019

  • Shurtz, Randy C.; Preger, Yuliya; Torres-Castro, Loraine
  • Journal of The Electrochemical Society, Vol. 166, Issue 12
  • DOI: 10.1149/2.0341912jes

Investigation of Internal Short Circuits of Lithium-Ion Batteries under Mechanical Abusive Conditions
journal, May 2019

  • Yang, Sheng; Wang, Wenwei; Lin, Cheng
  • Energies, Vol. 12, Issue 10
  • DOI: 10.3390/en12101885

    Figures/Tables have been extracted from DOE-funded journal article accepted manuscripts.