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Inexpensive Sensor Warns of Catastrophic Failure in Lithium-Ion Batteries
Scientists at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, MD have developed an inexpensive sensor that can warn of impending catastrophic failure in lithium-ion batteries.
The sensor is based on the researchers’ discovery of an intrinsic relationship between the internal temperature of lithium-ion cells and an easily measured electrical parameter of the cell. “We discovered that we can measure the temperature of the protective layers between the electrodes and the electrolyte of the battery during normal operation,” says Rengaswamy Srinivasan, a chemist in APL’s Research and Exploratory Development Department and one of the inventors. “These layers are where the conditions that lead to thermal runaway and catastrophic cell failure begin. This discovery enables us to detect potentially unsafe thermal conditions before surface-mounted temperature sensors, which are the current state of...