The dream of cutting all emissions in the energy supply and drives is taking shape in different industries. Lithium-ion batteries play here an essential role. They provide excellent advantages in terms of service life, costs, safety and efficiency. But their technology is also susceptible to thermal risks and this places new demands on fire protection in the engine compartment. Themamax considered these demands and developed a solution.
Emission-free, eco-friendly and risky
Lithium-ion batteries are an essential part of the vision of electromobility. They offer impressive benefits such as emission-free drives, high efficiency and low self-discharge rates. However their design requires special fire protection measures during their use.
Lithium-ion batteries are chemical energy storage systems that release the stored charge through a chemical reaction. When a certain operating temperature is reached, there is a so-called thermal runaway in the battery, which means that it heats up on its own to the point of destruction. The reason is that lithium-ion batteries, unlike lead or nickel versions, must rely on flammable components.
An electronic malfunction or mechanical damage can cause the lithium ions to withdraw the oxygen stored in the cathode, which may result in oxidation of the electrolyte. This creates gases and vapors. The pressure and temperature increase. At temperatures between 120 and 300 C, the separator melts and the electrolyte starts to burn. This causes a short circuit and thermal decomposition of the cathode. The oxygen released in this process, combined with the thermal energy, ignites the other battery components and produces temperatures of over 1,000 C.
Lithium-ion batteries are classified as dangerous goods in transport or storage. They respond to their environment with great sensitivity. In any event, the energy sources should never be directly or permanently exposed to higher temperatures.
Effective fire protection
Thanks to longtime experience with high-temperature insulations, Thermamax can contribute to the operational safety of battery systems. The Tmax-Battery Housing protects the environment against the effects of thermal runaway and the battery against the risks of high ambient temperatures.
To protect lithium-ion batteries against fire, it is not enough to just develop high-temperature insulation. Instead the temperature must be monitored permanently. This is why the Tmax-Battery Housing has thermal management with high-performance cooling.
The insulated housing reliably protects the battery from external influences, such as water, extreme temperatures, dust or vibrations. If there is a strong increase in pressure, the safety valve opens and thus prevents a possible explosion. The valve automatically closes when the pressure drops.
The benefits are
- maximum safety in case of accident
- optimal temperature control provides: extended battery range, longer life cycle
- operational safety