• 3 minutes Nucelar Deal Is Dead? Iran Distances Itself Further From ND, Alarming Russia And France
  • 5 minutes Don Jr. Tweets name Ukraine Whistleblower, Eric Ciaramella. Worked for CIA during Obama Administration, Hold over to Trump National Security Counsel under Gen McCallister, more . . . .
  • 9 minutes Shale pioneer Chesepeak will file bankruptcy soon. FINALLY ! The consolidation begins
  • 12 minutes China's Blueprint For Global Power
  • 3 hours Pioneer's Sheffield in Doghouse. Oil upset his bragging about Shale hurt prices. Now on campaign to lower expectations, prop up price.
  • 2 hours Tesla Launches Faster Third Generation Supercharger
  • 37 mins EU has already lost the Trump vs. EU Trade War
  • 2 hours Passerby doused with flammable liquid and set on fire by peaceful protesters
  • 2 hours Who writes this stuff? "Crude Prices Swing Between Gains, Losses"
  • 2 hours ''Err ... but Trump ...?'' #yawn
  • 1 hour China's Renewables Boom Hits the Wall
  • 22 hours Climate Change Consensus Shifts in Wind, But Gas Is Still the Right Move
  • 1 day Joe Biden, his son Hunter Biden, Ukraine Oil & Gas exploration company Burisma, and 2020 U.S. election shenanigans
  • 3 hours Crazy Stories From Round The World
  • 1 day Atty General Barr likely subpeona so called whistleblower and "leaker" Eric Ciaramella
  • 2 hours Haaretz article series _ Saudi Arabia: A Kingdom in Turmoil | Part 1 - Oil Empire
Alt Text

OPEC Output Soars As Venezuela Bounces Back From The Brink

Despite Saudi overcompliance and political…

Alt Text

The Most Important Data Point In U.S. Oil Markets

Oil markets are always awash…

Robert Rapier

Robert Rapier

More Info

Premium Content

Could This NASA Innovation Save The EV Industry?

I don’t really drive enough to make an electric vehicle (EV) a compelling value proposition, but if my commute was a bit longer it is something I would seriously consider.

However, there is one aspect of EVs that makes me a little nervous. Although rare, lithium-ion batteries can fail, resulting in a fire. This fire can spread to other cells, and can ultimately explode in a thermal runaway. This slight risk would probably cause me to think twice about charging an EV in my garage at night.

There are potential solutions to this problem. Last year I wrote about A Battery That Could Change The World, which was a story about the development of a solid-state lithium battery that won’t catch fire if damaged.

However, today’s lithium-ion batteries aren’t going away anytime soon. So, one company has developed a potential solution to the fires that can be spawned from lithium-ion battery failures.

California-based KULR Technology, in partnership with NASA, has developed a product to stop lithium-ion battery packs from exploding in thermal runaway.

NASA is interested in this problem because of the potential for a catastrophic failure in space. A runaway thermal event from these batteries may be a low-probability event, but on a spacecraft or in a spacesuit, the consequences could be devastating. Related: The Winners And Losers Of The Latest Commodity Rally

The solution that has been developed involves the placement of a vaporizing thermal capacitor next to the individual cells. If a cell fails and the temperature starts to climb rapidly, the heat will be dissipated in the thermal capacitor. You can think of it as analogous to an electrical fuse that will fail to stop a surge of electrical current.

In addition to the thermal capacitor, which they call the HYDRA thermal runaway shield (TRS), each cell also contains a flame arrestor to block the fire from reaching surrounding cells. This solution prevents adjacent cells from rising above 100°C. This is important, because at temperatures above 130°C, the chance for a short in adjacent cells rises substantially.

You can see a demonstration of some early NASA tests with the TRS. In this video, a failure is triggered in a single cell in a 50-cell pack. You can see the explosion at the 2:40 mark in the video. The temperature of the triggered cell reportedly rose above 1000°C, but neighboring cells all remained below 100°C.

There is certainly a need to get a better handle on understanding the root cause of these failures, because the number of these batteries in applications is growing exponentially. Even one failure in a billion is unacceptably high when there are billions of these cells in use.

As these battery packs become more powerful — and because of the potential for high-consequence incidents like a fire on an airplane — the need for fire suppression will grow. The long-range solution may be a new type of battery, but the solution developed by KULR and NASA could greatly enhance the safety of existing lithium-ion battery packs.

By Robert Rapier

More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:




Download The Free Oilprice App Today

Back to homepage



Leave a comment

Leave a comment




Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News
Download on the App Store Get it on Google Play