by Staff Writers
Graz, Austria (SPX) May 04, 2021
As part of the project "SafeBattery", a team from Graz University of Technology (TU Graz) has been investigating the behaviour of lithium-based batteries in electric cars under crash loads for the past four years.
"The performance of new battery cells is largely known, so we dealt with the entire life cycle," explains project manager Christian Ellersdorfer at the Institute of Vehicle Safety. Together with industry partners such as AVL, Audi and Daimler, research was conducted into scenarios that a battery can experience in the course of its life: for example, vibrations and strong accelerations caused by parking bumps, serious accidents and the constant charging and discharging of batteries.
Changes due to charging and discharging
Battery cells aged in this way have a higher stiffness under mechanical load. "But the changes don't necessarily mean that batteries become more dangerous with age. On the contrary. The sum of the influences makes them safer over time because they also lose electrical energy," says Ellersdorfer.
The investigations of Ellersdorfer et al show that cells with a strongly reduced capacity content have a weakened course of the so-called thermal runaway after an internal short circuit. Thus, the reduced energy potential of aged batteries decreases the likelihood of accidental battery fires.
Benefit for automotive industry
Approval of EVBs for a second life
"Used batteries with a power capacity of 80 percent are no longer suitable for electric vehicles, but they are very suitable for stationary energy storage or for machine tools. For the first time, we are determining generally valid parameters in the area of safety," says Ellersdorfer, describing the project.
The researchers will use the world's only test bench technology for battery safety at the Battery Safety Center Graz, which opened at the end of 2020. There, the early life of a battery cell can be examined at an unprecedented level of detail. The legal framework for re-usability (e.g. the question of liability for consequential damage) is also taken into account.
In addition to the so-called "state of health", which reflects the existing residual capacity and performance of a battery cell, a "state of safety" should ultimately be defined, by which the safety status of a battery can be assessed over the entire life cycle. SafeLIB runs for four years and ends in 2025. The Austrian Research Promotion Agency FFG is funding the project with a total of 6 million euros (see FFG Fact sheet).
Denmark's largest battery - one step closer to storing green power in stones
Aarhus, Denmark (SPX) May 01, 2021
Pea sized stones heated to 600?C in large, insulated steel tanks are at the heart of a new innovation project aiming to make a breakthrough in the storage of intermittent wind and solar electricity. The technology, which stores electrical energy as heat in stones, is called GridScale, and could become a cheap and efficient alternative to storing power from solar and wind in lithium-based batteries. While lithium batteries are only cost-effective for the supply of energy for short periods of up to ... read more
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