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ecovolta’s new Li-ion safety concept prevents fires in electric vehicles

ecovolta’s system automatically disconnects faulty cells from the battery

Swiss battery system manufacturer ecovolta is introducing a new safety concept in its lithium-ion batteries, which has been proven to reduce the risk of battery fires and cell explosions in e-mobility applications.

To achieve this, ecovolta employs cell junctions made of electrolytically nickel-plated cold strips that automatically disconnect faulty cells from the rest of the battery pack when the current rises. From March 12-14, 2019, ecovolta will showcase the new battery packs for the first time at the Energy Storage Europe exhibition, booth D04 in hall 8b.

In the case of mechanical damage to a battery pack, a high current initially flows through the affected region and the temperature rises locally. In conventional battery solutions, the cell is affected directly, with its material expanding rapidly, which could lead to explosions and battery fires.

In contrast, with ecovolta battery packs, the temperature rises locally at the cell junction in the case of mechanical damage. This junction then melts, separating the damaged cell from the intact components. The rest of the pack remains functional  – only its capacity sinks as the capacity of the separated cell is lost, as indicated by comprehensive laboratory trials.

The new safety concept is incorporated in all ecovolta traction batteries. This allows for capacities ranging from 10 Wh to several hundred kWh and voltages of 12-600 V as well as any desired battery shape. The concept is also used in ecovolta’s evoTractionBattery. The standardised traction battery achieves energy densities of 200 Wh per kilogram without active cooling.

“This ecovolta concept offers e-mobility suppliers a battery solution that makes the highest safety standards economical even for small and mid-sized vehicle series,” says ecovolta CTO Paul Hauser.

The concept was made possible by a licence from H-Tech AG, located in Schaan, Liechtenstein, which ecovolta uses for production of its battery systems.

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