Adaptive Current-Collectors for Safe High-Energy Rechargeable Batteries


Boston, MA USA. Date of Talk: 11/26/2018


Sean E Doris
Adrien Pierre
Jackson, Warren B.
Elif Karatay
Street, Robert A.

Adaptive Current-Collectors for Safe High-Energy Rechargeable Batteries

High energy density rechargeable batteries are critical for the widespread adoption of EVs, however their high energy density leads to an inherent safety risk if an internal short circuit (ISC) forms and releases all the energy in the battery in seconds. When an ISC occurs from dendrite formation, cell deformation/damage, or a manufacturing defect the entire battery capacity rapidly discharges. This release of energy leads to extremely high temperatures near the short that can induce thermal runaway, cell rupture or venting, and fire. While the use of shutdown separators can help mitigate ISCs in smaller cells, they are often ineffective in the larger, high-energy batteries used in EVs and grid storage applications. Rather than relying on thermally-induced shutdown that may fail to shut down regions of the battery far from the ISC, it is preferable to directly detect and stop the internal current that flows during an ISC. In this presentation, I will introduce our work on adaptive current-collectors, which allow for direct control over the local current that flows between the current-collector and the active material by simple printed electronic circuits. I will show how the electrical properties of printed electronics can be tuned to meet the demanding requirements of adaptive current-collectors, including low resistance during normal operating currents and high resistance under abuse conditions. Our simulations indicate that adaptive current-collectors can reduce the current flowing through ISCs by more than 90%, converting this catastrophic failure mode into a graceful one. In addition to enabling safe high-energy rechargeable batteries, the development of adaptive current-collectors will give battery users finer control over current flow at the sub-cell level, which is expected to improve battery reliability and rate capability.

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