Electronics & Computers

TIAX Debuts Lithium-ion Battery Safety System

January 15, 2013

The sensor technology, in combination with proprietary signal processing algorithms, detects and pre-empts short circuits inside cells, preventing explosions and fires.

LEXINGTON, MA /PRNewswire/ -- TIAX LLC, a leading developer of advanced technologies and materials for batteries, introduced its lithium-ion battery safety sensor system for detecting and pre-empting short circuits inside a lithium-ion cell. Short circuits can lead to safety events such as explosions and fires.

"Safety incidents in lithium-ion batteries, while infrequent, can be hazardous for consumers and can result in expensive recalls. The primary cause of these safety incidents is short circuits inside cells, which are not present at the point of manufacture and which, to date, have been impossible to detect in the field," said Dr. Brian Barnett, Vice President at TIAX.

A key component of TIAX's lithium-ion battery safety sensor system is based on a proven sensing technology that TIAX has had on the market for many years in a different application. "The use of our sensor system provides early warning of developing hazardous conditions due to internal shorts thus enabling a range of appropriate interventions," added Dr. Barnett.

"Lithium-ion battery technology has been a great boon to portable electronic devices such as smart phones and tablets, and to electric drive vehicles," said Dr. Kenan Sahin, President of TIAX. "Detecting internal shorts in lithium-ion cells before they lead to safety hazards has been elusive until now, and has been described as the 'holy grail' of lithium-ion battery safety enhancements. TIAX is very proud to have developed the breakthrough sensor system that can enable effective measures to mitigate the until-now-unpredictable field failures and thus accelerate the expansion of this very critical industry by lessening the need for expensive hazard mitigation mechanisms and regulations."

This patent-pending technology employs sensors in combination with proprietary signal processing algorithms. It works for any lithium-ion battery chemistry. In lithium-ion cell packs, it is effective over a wide range of temperatures and also in automotive duty cycles. It is low-cost and reliable. The system does not need changes in cell design, which makes it easy to incorporate it into battery systems.

TIAX is also developing an instrument incorporating this breakthrough sensor that will allow battery developers to design safer, longer-lasting, lithium-ion battery packs.

TIAX's work in lithium-ion battery safety was mostly self-funded, with additional funds provided through a competitively won multi-year award under DOE's Vehicle Technologies Program.

About TIAX
Headquartered in Lexington, MA, TIAX LLC develops and sells scalable, de-risked, prototyped, IP-protected technologies in clean-energy, energy storage, energy efficiency, and advanced sensors with applications in vehicles, buildings, and security.

TIAX lithium-ion battery-related technologies under development include a high-performance electrolyte that functions at high-voltages and high-temperatures, a patented breakthrough silicon anode that lengthens battery run time, a novel active cell balancing system that improves battery life and safety, and an advanced sensor that detects electrical shorts inside cells to prevent safety-related events.

TIAX's CAM-7 cathode material for lithium-ion batteries, after 10 years of development, has been introduced to the market for portable electronics and transportation applications. Batteries using CAM-7 last longer, cost less, and deliver more power. TIAX has built a plant in Massachusetts with a capacity up to 300 tons per year to produce CAM-7. The plant is operated by CAMX Power, a TIAX subsidiary.

Recently TIAX was chosen as an affiliate member of the Battery Hub being led by Argonne National Laboratory, which combines the capabilities of five U.S. DOE National Laboratories with selected companies and universities.

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