See Yourself Out: Researchers develop design for self-extinguishing EV batteries

Toronto, Ontario — In a newly published study, researchers have developed a design for a self-extinguishing rechargeable battery to help reduce the risk of electric vehicle (EV) fires.

Apparao Rao, professor of physics with Clemson University in South Carolina and Bingan Lu, associate professor of physics and electronics with Hunan University in Hunan, China describe a battery design that replaces the most common, and a highly flammable battery electrolyte, lithium salt and organic solvent, with materials found in commercial fire extinguishers.

Rao and Lu specifically note that by modifying the battery design to include affordable commercial coolants to function as the battery’s electrolytes, they have been able to produce a battery that puts out its own fires.

The new batteries are able to do this by transferring heat away from themselves and thus extinguishing internal battery fires.

When tested, the new battery design was also able to survive the nail penetration test in which a stainless steel nail is driven through a charged battery to simulate an internal short circuit. While standard lithium-ion batteries often catch fire, researchers reported that the self-extinguishing model withstood the impact without catching fire.

While more testing is needed before the design can be incorporated into a more widespread manufacturing stage, researchers are hopeful that the design will assist in making future electric vehicles safer for drivers.

Click here to read Rao and Lu’s original study, or here for their original article on the topic.



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