Destructive safety testing of large lithium-ion batteries

A new laboratory for investigations on the safety of lithium-ion batteries has been established at Fraunhofer EMI — financed by the state of Baden- Württemberg, the federal government and by the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft.

The rapid increase in the market share of battery-electric vehicles and the still dynamic development in battery technology require significant testing capacities to support the industry in developing safe products. EMI is therefore opening a new battery testing laboratory to perform destructive safety tests. The range of services offered by the Automotive business unit includes experimental and simulative investigations into the crash behavior of battery cells, modules and highvoltage storage systems. In addition, thermal propagation — the dreaded chain reaction within a battery pack — can be studied and suitable countermeasures researched in the new test facility. Moreover, there is still a lot of research to be done on stationary battery storage systems, which are now also finding their way into homes as a result of the increasing expansion of renewable energies, in order to arrive at safer systems.

The new battery testing laboratory TEVLIB picks up speed

The “Test facility for research into the failure of large lithium-ion batteries under misuse conditions” — TEVLIB for short — features a robust bunker in which the tests take place. Unique selling points in the testing technology are the new battery crash facility and the in-situ X-ray technology. It is not uncommon for the tests to end in a fire in the battery storage unit, emitting considerable quantities of combustion gases and particles. The laboratory building therefore has extensive safety equipment and a gas scrubber for exhaust air purification in order to be able to carry out the destructive tests on large battery systems while maintaining the highest safety standards for employees, infrastructure and the environment.

© Fraunhofer EMI
The new TEVLIB laboratory for research into the failure of large lithium-ion batteries at EMI Efringen-Kirchen.
© Fraunhofer EMI
Test chamber for battery failure investigations by means of in-situ X-ray technology.