German public research university The Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) is working to develop standards that provide more security and flexibility when designing lithium-ion batteries.
In its research project, KIT will work alongside testing and standardisation institutes as well as industry partners to develop safety tests for lithium-ion cells under real conditions.
The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) is funding the “Development of a propagation test method for lithium-ion cells” research project with more than €1.2 million ($1.3 million) in battery systems.
Improved test procedures for lithium-ion batteries in stationary and mobile applications could close existing gaps in standardisation with regard to realistic evaluation criteria for the safety and quality of lithium-ion batteries, say KIT.
The new standards are intended to enable fairer competition, to reduce the use of raw materials, reduce development and product costs by avoiding over-design and to increase the safety of lithium-ion batteries in operation.
Dr. Anna Smith from the KIT Institute for Applied Materials (IAM), said: “If battery systems are designed for realistic worst-case scenarios, regardless of their cell quality, it doesn’t make them safer, but more voluminous, heavier, less sustainable and also more expensive than necessary.
“The resistance of the lithium-ion cell to really dangerous defects, which can vary greatly depending on the manufacturer, for example due to the cell structure or cell components, is far too little in focus. Starting with the thermal runaway is like judging the safety of a lighter solely by its explosion behaviour.”