Study on the effect of spacing on thermal runaway propagation for lithium-ion batteries

  • Zhirong WangEmail author
  • Ning Mao
  • Fengwei Jiang


In the open and closed space environments, the influence of spacing on battery pack thermal runaway propagation is studied. The mechanism of thermal runaway propagation for the lithium-ion battery pack is analyzed. The experimental results show that when the state of charge (SOC) of the battery is 100%, and the spacing is greater than 2 mm in the horizontal direction and 8 mm in the vertical arrangement, battery pack thermal runaway propagation hardly occurs in an open environment. In a closed environment, there is less chance of uncontrolled heat transmission in batteries when the rate of increase in the battery temperature is less than 0.66 °C s−1. When the horizontal spacing is more than 4 mm or the vertical spacing of the battery is more than 8 mm in a closed environment, thermal runaway propagation cannot occur in the batteries. The research results provide some reference for the arrangement of lithium-ion battery packs in transportation and storage.


Spacing of the battery pack Thermal runaway propagation Lithium-ion battery Open environment Closed space 



The authors are grateful for the support given by National Natural Science Foundation of China under Grant No. 51874184, Key R&D Programs (Social Development) in Jiangsu Province under Grant No. BE2016771, Key Natural Science Foundation in Jiangsu Province under Grant No. 18KJA620003, and Jiangsu Project Plan for Outstanding Talents Team in Six Research Fields (TD-XNYQC-002).


  1. 1.
    Zhao RR, Yu L, Chang Y. Research progress and application of lithium ion battery technology. Beijing: Chemical Industry Press; 2017. p. 430.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Feng XN. Thermal runaway initiation and propagation of lithium-ion traction battery for electric vehicle: test, modeling and prevention. Beijing: Tsinghua University; 2016.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Feng X, Ouyang M, Liu X, Lu L, Xia Y, He X. Thermal runaway mechanism of lithium ion battery for electric vehicles: a review. Energy Storage Mater. 2018;10:246–67.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Ren D, Feng X, Lu L, Ouyang M, Zheng S, Li J, He X. An electrochemical thermal coupled overcharge-to-thermal-runaway model for lithium ion battery. J Power Sources. 2017;364:328–40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Chen M, Sun Q, Li Y, Wu K, Liu B, Peng P, Wang Q. A thermal runaway simulation on a lithium titanate battery and the battery module. Energies. 2015;8:490–500.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Feng X, Sun J, Ouyang M, Wang F, He X, Lu L, Peng H. Characterization of penetration induced thermal runaway propagation process within a large format lithium ion battery module. J Power Sources. 2015;275:261–73.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Feng X, Lu L, Ouyang M, Li J, He X. A 3D thermal runaway propagation model for a large format lithium ion battery module. Energy. 2016;115:194–208.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Lopez CF, Jeevarajan JA, Mukherjee PP. Experimental analysis of thermal runaway and propagation in lithium-ion battery modules. J Electrochem Soc. 2015;162:A1905–15.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Jeevarajan JA. Hazards associated with high voltage high capacity lithium-ion batteries. ECS Trans. 2011;33:1–6.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Kizilel R, Sabbah R, Selman JR, Al-Hallaj S. An alternative cooling system to enhance the safety of Li-ion battery packs. J Power Sources. 2009;194:1105–12.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Jarrett A, Kim IY. Influence of operating conditions on the optimum design of electric vehicle battery cooling plates. J Power Sources. 2014;245:644–55.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Mohammadian SK, Zhang Y. Improving wettability and preventing Li-ion batteries from thermal runaway using microchannels. Int J Heat Mass Transf. 2017;118:911–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Coleman B, Ostanek J, Heinzel J. Reducing cell-to-cell spacing for large format lithium ion battery modules with aluminum or PCM heat sinks under failure conditions. Appl Energy. 2016;180:14–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Tran TH, Harmand S, Desmet B, Filangi S. Experimental investigation on the feasibility of heat pipe cooling for HEV/EV lithium-ion battery. Appl Therm Eng. 2014;63:551–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Wilke S, Schweitzer B, Khateeb S, Al-Hallaj S. Preventing thermal runaway propagation in lithium ion battery packs using a phase change composite material: an experimental study. J Power Sources. 2017;340:51–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Lamb J, Orendorff CJ, Steele LAM, Spangler SW. Failure propagation in multi-cell lithium ion batteries. J Power Sources. 2015;283:517–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Urban and Industrial Safety, College of Safety Science and EngineeringNanjing Tech UniversityNanjingChina

Personalised recommendations