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Lead-acid firm Digatron launches European lithium-ion cell assembly equipment division

Fri, 02/07/2020 - 12:41 -- Paul Crompton

German battery testing and formation company Digatron Power Electronics has launched a lithium-ion cell production division. 

Based in Italy, Digatron Systems will offer tailored integrated solutions for lithium-ion cell production, formation and module assembly.

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KULR to supply Saft with battery safety testing devices

Wed, 03/13/2019 - 12:41 -- Hugh Finzel
KULR to supply Saft with battery safety testing devices

KULR Technology will supply French battery maker Saft with innovative ‘internal short circuit’ (ISC) battery-testing devices to aid ongoing research into safety and the prevention of battery fires.

The ISCs, which replicate latent defects in batteries that can be some of the most common, serious, and hardest cell failures to detect, will be delivered early in the second quarter of 2019.

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Launching: BEST Battery Reviews

Mon, 04/09/2018 - 11:16 -- News Editor
Launching: BEST Battery Reviews

The promised BEST battery testing service has arrived. We’re calling it BEST Battery Reviews (BBR). 

Says Mike McDonagh, BEST magazine’s technical editor, who’ll be heading up the service: “How practical is reading the advertising blurb of battery producers? Of what relevance are the endless tables of data found in manufacturers catalogues? How do you know how this battery will stand up in your application— under real conditions outside of IEC, JIS or ANSI standards? And what else are you looking for in a battery or charger which is not found in manufacturers’ data?”

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Novel lithium battery test from UL

Tue, 07/09/2013 - 00:00 -- Ruth Williams
Novel lithium battery test from UL

Underwriters Laboratory has developed a method of spotting internal short circuits in lithium-ion cells to improve standards relating to the batteries. Such a condition may have caused the notorious Boeing battery Dreamliner fires.

The Indentation Induced test is, according to Underwriter Laboratory (UL), a simple and repeatable way to induce internal short circuits to study battery behaviors when an internal short occurs.

UL says this approach is more rigorous than previous short circuit testing such as by nail penetration and will test cell’s reactions to a mechanical failure. While this is appropriate for impacts on the battery, such as vehicle crashes, it will still not be able to detect or protect cells against internal short circuits that occur due to causes other than mechanical means. It does test a cell for cathode dendritic growth, which many internal short circuits are attributed to.

In the Sustainable Energy Journal from the UL, the report titled ‘Lithium-ion Batteries. stated: “The Indentation Induced internal short circuit test was developed based on best-practice principles to provide a practical and simple method that is very suitable for battery safety standards. This test gives UL the ability to simulate how a lithium-ion cell behaves when subjected to an internal short circuit condition, which will help mitigate the hazards of ISCs and support the safe commercialisation of lithium-ion batteries.”

For the test, a cell is placed in a holder to prevent movement, an indenter presses the cell casing from above at a constant speed of 0.01 – 0.001mm/s. The test is suitable for cylindrical, pouch and prismatic cells at different states of charge or stages of aging and takes place in a temperature controlled chamber. As the indenter presses against the casing, the layers of anode, cathode and separators are deformed below the point of indentation. This heavy strain leads to a mechanical failure of the separator, which causes the electrodes to touch. This causes a drop in the open circuit voltage followed by a rapid increase in the cell’s surface temperature – up to 700oC –, which results in an explosive release of gases and fire.

The criteria for the test were: it must be able to generate a localised internal short circuit within a closed cell that would simulate the conditions similar to those found in the field failures of lithium-ion batteries; secondly it must be acceptable for battery safety standards. UL has partnered with NASA and Oak Ridge National Laboratories to develop test approaches.

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