Why do Lithium batteries explode?

Oct 24, 2016 by nate.woods in News Leave a Comment

We have all heard about products being designed and launched in the marketplace only to have battery quality problems.

While the root cause may be different in a phone battery problem versus and airplane battery problem, there are two main issues that almost always are the culprit.

A battery pack uses a Battery Management System (BMS) to ensure safe operation of the battery pack. It keeps the pack from overcharging, over discharging, temperature safeties, along with other safety features are also used depending upon the application. However, if the BMS is not thoroughly tested, and proven, corner cases can occur where in a certain scenario, a failure can occur. This will mean the BMS won’t work correctly and thereby create a potentially dangerous outcome.

Even more ominous, is a faulty battery cell. Whether it’s a cylindrical or polymer, if the manufacturing process isn’t 100% perfect, you could introduce a faulty cell into the battery pack. A BMS cannot and will not be able to protect the battery from failure if the cell has a thermal runaway type event. “There are no brakes to stop a car once it is over the cliff,” said Trent Keeney, Business Development Manager for Excell battery, “and the same is true of a cell that has thermal runaway, the BMS cannot do its job as it normally would.”

“At Excell we use Tier 1 battery suppliers to ensure only the best cells for our customer’s applications,” Keeney says, “and while there are cheaper cell options sometimes, sacrificing quality for price is never a good, long-term business decision.” Additionally using a proven BMS that has been in multiple applications helps avoid poor BMS design.

At Excell we have stood behind our quality for over 30 years, contact us to learn how we can help you design in the quality your customers require.