Using gSKIN® heat flux sensors for the calorimetric measurement of batteries

 

 

Calorimetric techniques are critical for the evaluation of thermodynamic, thermal and safety data for Lithium-ion (or Li-ion battery) and post-Lithium batteries on material, cell and pack levels for both normal and abuse conditions. The most sophisticated measurements require a calorimeter, but it could be also possible to gather important thermal data using small heat flux sensors.

As explained by Dr. Carlos Zieber, from the IAM-AWP calorimeter center at the KIT (Europe’s largest battery calorimeter lab), we can use heat flux sensors for the thermal management of Li-on batteries. This technique is becoming more important as the increase in energy density in batteries could lead to a thermal runaway. This effect could ignite or explode the battery, releasing harmful toxic gases.

How could heat flux sensors help the thermal management of batteries? They can be applied to provide the following data:

  1. Values for the specific heat capacity
  2. Heat transfer coefficients for the different sides of a cell
  3. Values for the generated heat

All these parameters are of utmost importance for the thermal management of cells, and can be tracked with a simple sensor attached to the surface of the battery. If one is working with packs, several sensors placed on different positions within the pack are needed.

Figure 2 Specific heat capacity of a 18650 cell: (a) Heat flux measurement (b) Derived values as a function of temperature (author: Carlos Zieber).

 

At greenTEG, we have prepared a brief presentation showcasing the advantages of gSKIN® heat flux sensors for battery research. You can download it on our website.

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