Eli Goldin, Mechanical Engineer at Inventus Power, wrote an article for Electronic Products Magazine (January 2020) that provides several design approaches to reduce the possibility of severe failures caused by thermal runaway in lithium-ion battery packs.
Lithium-ion batteries have improved the lives of medical patients, soldiers, and the general consumer around the world. As technology progresses, devices are becoming more and more power hungry, and cell manufacturers are developing and launching higher-capacity and higher-power cells to meet this need. This has led to a heightened focus on the safe design of battery packs because higher capacity packs can experience more severe failures.
Electrical and/or mechanical abuse of a poorly designed battery pack can produce volatile results. So, what can be done to prevent lithium-ion battery disasters? The answer is that every member of the value chain in producing a lithium-ion battery, whether it be the cell, battery pack, or device manufacturer, has a unique responsibility in developing safe battery technology.
This article describes several design approaches to significantly reduce the possibility of severe failures in lithium-ion battery packs, protecting the end user from battery disasters. The unique safety issues inherent to lithium-ion technology can be controlled and made as safe as possible by design engineers implementing innovative solutions that play an important role in guaranteeing battery safety.