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USA: Battery Safety December 6-7, 2012

Widely publicized safety incidents and recalls of lithium-ion batteries have raised legitimate concerns regarding lithium-ion battery safety. Battery Safety 2012 is conveniently timed with Lithium Battery Power 2012 and will address these concerns by exploring the following topics

Application specific battery safety issues affecting battery performance
Major battery degradation and reliability factors
Battery management systems
Commercial cells evaluation and failure analysis
Advances in testing techniques and protocols
High throughput testing, automation and modeling for better safety
Standardization and regulatory issues

Recent significant innovations within lithium-ion batteries have propelled the technology into a position in the marketplace far exceeding recent market survey results. Breakthroughs in new battery chemistries, novel electrode and electrolyte materials, system integration for a vast array of mobile and portable applications, from micro medical devices to high-energy/high-power automotive, have paved the roadmap for an emerging market with unlimited potential. Lithium Battery Power 2012 is conveniently timed with Battery Safety 2012.

New chemistries & materials to increase energy & decrease cost
Meeting the EV challenge: cycle life, power & energy, cost and safety
Advanced materials for improved electrode & electrolyte performance
Application driven lithium ion battery development
Advanced technology for greater safety, reliability and performance
From novel materials and components to systems design and integration
Role of nanotechnology in improving power and energy density

Media Sponsors and Conference Partners

Thursday, December 6, 2012

8:00 Registration, Exhibit Viewing/Poster Setup, Coffee and Pastries

8:50 Organizer’s Welcome and Opening Remarks

9:00 Safety Improvements of Lithium Ion Battery Electrodes that Incorporate Carbon Nanotubes
Brian J. Landi, PhD, Assistant Professor, Chemical & Biomedical Engineering, Rochester Institute of Technology
The safety of traditional cathode and anode composites has been improved using single wall carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) as a conductive additive replacement. A 30-40% reduction in exothermic reaction energy has been measured by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) for overcharge conditions. Such analysis is extended to high capacity Ge and Si-SWCNT electrodes where proper reduction in the surface area along with the high thermal conductivity of SWCNTs results in similar benefit.

9:30 Thermal Decomposition Pathway of Delithiated Cathodes
Zonghai Chen, Chemist, Electrochemical Energy Storage Group, Chemical Sciences & Engineering Division, Argonne National Laboratory
Thermal decomposition of delithiated cathodes has drawn major attention due to its contribution to the thermal runaway of lithium-ion batteries. In situ high energy X-ray diffraction was deployed to investigate the mechanism of thermal decomposition of delithiated cathodes. The impact of materials composition as well as electrolytes will be discussed in this talk.

10:00 Cells’ and Battery Safety in High-End Applications
Malgorzata (Maggie) Gulbinska, PhD, Lead Materials Scientist, Yardney Technical Products
Yardney’s batteries are used in multitude of air, land, sea, and space applications and must meet very stringent performance requirements. Pushing the boundaries of performance of batteries requires concerted efforts dedicated to understanding and implementing battery safety. The safety-related work at Yardney starts at the fundamental understanding level and extends to cell design improvements as well as the cell pack and battery level developments. This presentation summarizes the current safety-related advancements at Yardney.
*In collaboration with: F.Puglia, G.Moore, S.Cohen, and S.Santee

10:30 Networking Refreshment Break, Exhibit/Poster Viewing

11:00 Considerations of High Energy Safety and Abuse Testing
David G. Miller, Manager, Test and Evaluation Branch, Energy, Power and Energy Division, Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Crane
The paper will discuss pre-test, test, and post-test safety considerations associated with high energy battery safety and abuse tests. The assessment of post-test batteries and the safing of the test site will also be discussed. Several video examples of worst case events will be shown.

11:30 Abuse Behavior of Lithium-Ion Batteries
Speaker to be confirmed
Abstract is not available at time of publishing. Please, visit for the latest Program updates.

12:00 Study of Polarization Effect and Thermal Stability in Aged Lithium-Ion Battery
Alvin Wu, Research Engineer / Corporate Research, Underwriters Laboratories Taiwan Co., Ltd., Underwriters Laboratories
Research into the safety performance of lithium-ion cells has increased tremendously in recent years. Field failures, though rare, may suggest that some failure mechanisms are dependent upon the state of the cell over a period of time, as such rechargeable sources of energy experience many charging and discharging cycles. UL has hence proposed a project to investigate the safety performance in aged lithium-ion cells. After a series of study, the polarization effect and the shift in the thermal properties in aged cells are found to be the major causes to safety concerns.

12:30 Luncheon Sponsored by the Knowledge Foundation Membership Program

2:00 Effective Approach toward Safe Li-Ion Battery
Sheng S. Zhang, PhD, Research Chemist, Sensors and Electron Devices Directorate, U.S. Army Research Laboratory
Fire and explosion of Li-ion battery (LIB) have been reported from cell phone, laptop computer to electric vehicle. All these incidents are related to the rapid release of huge chemical energy stored in LIB in an extreme manner, which is initiated by heat. Many laboratory tests, such as nail penetration, crashing, overcharging, and shorting, have shown that in most cases the heat is self-generated in the form of I2R by the internal or external electric circuit shorting. The heat melts down separator, resulting in direct chemical reactions of the charged cathode (a strong oxidizing agent) and anode (a strong reducing agent) materials. In this presentation, we discuss the causes of fire and explosion in LIB, review the current efforts to the safety of LIB, and propose a more effective and feasible approach for the better safety of LIB.

2:30 Internal Shorts in Li-Ion Cells – What Does it Take to Cause One that is Catastrophic
Judith Jeevarajan, PhD, Battery Group Lead for Safety and Advanced Technology, NASA – Johnson Space Center
A simulated internal short test method has been in work at NASA with UL collaboration for the past two years. The test protocols used to simulate internal shorts in 18650 Li cobaltate cells are currently being validated on li-ion spinel and prismatic-metal-can cell designs. Cell CT scans and destructive physical analysis (DPA) were used to understand the results and repeatability and reproducibility of the test method. Data obtained from the analysis is indicative of the fact that the heat evolved during the internal short should be extremely localized and should compromise more than one layer of separator for it to become a catastrophic hazard. Results of the DPA and data on the new cell designs will be presented in support of this observation.

3:00 Stability and Safety of Al-Doped Cathode Materials for Li-Ion Batteries: Thermodynamic and Electrochemical Studies
Petronela Gotcu-Freis, PhD, Research Associate, Institute for Applied Materials – Applied Materials Physics (IAM-AWP), Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany
Electrochemical reactions and phase transformations occurring in the active materials such as LiMO2 (M = Ni, Co and/or Mn) and LiM2O4 compounds containing small amounts of Al were studied using adiabatic and isothermal battery calorimeters. The thermal behavior and the heat output were investigated during charging-discharging in self-assembled coin and commercial 18650 cylindrical cells. Current interruption technique was used to measure the irreversible heat while the reversible heat was determined by potentiometric measurements at different depths of discharge (DOD). The performance of these cells under different operating conditions (temperature, C-rate) was evaluated.

3:30 Networking Refreshment Break, Exhibit/Poster Viewing

4:00 Experimental Study of an Air-Cooled Thermal Management System for High Capacity Lithium-Titanate Batteries
Ajay Prasad, PhD, Professor, Dept of Mechanical Engineering, University of Delaware
Lithium-titanate batteries have become an attractive option for battery electric vehicles and hybrid electric vehicles. In order to maintain safe operating temperatures, these batteries must be actively cooled during operation. Liquid-cooled systems typically employed for this purpose are inefficient due to the parasitic power consumed by the on-board chiller unit and the coolant pump. A more efficient option would be to circulate ambient air through the battery bank and directly reject the heat to the ambient. We designed and fabricated such an air-cooled thermal management system employing metal-foam based heat exchanger plates for sufficient heat removal capacity. Experiments were conducted with Altairnano’s 50 Ah cells over a range of charge-discharge cycle currents at two air flow rates. It was found that an airflow of 1100 ml/s per cell restricts the temperature rise of the coolant air to less than 10°C over ambient even for 200 A charge-discharge cycles. Furthermore, it was shown that the power required to drive the air through the heat exchanger was less than a conventional liquid-cooled thermal management system. The results indicate that air-cooled systems can be an effective and efficient method for the thermal management of automotive battery packs.

4:30 Self-Discharge Mechanism Reduces Consequences of Internal Shorts
Andrew J. Manning, President and CTO, Lithium Battery Engineering, LLC
Internal shorts are considered the most dangerous safety problem and are insidious in lithium ion cells. Such shorts can generate enough heat to initiate exothermic reactions, resulting in venting and fire. Freya Energy has developed a new separator which responds to localized over-heating of cells. The separator discharges the cell when it reaches 100°C through a controlled ‘self-discharge’ and has been shown to be effective in discharging cells with shorts, before exothermic reactions commence.

5:00 Exhibitors and Sponsors Showcase Presentations and Concluding Discussion

5:45 End of Day One


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