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Activity title

Balancing energy storage with safety in large format battery packs

Activity Reference



Applied Vehicle Technology

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Awaiting Publication

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air, emissions, energy storage, land, lithium, Mobile batteries, nanoparticles, safety, sea


The requirement for high energy density electrical energy storage is common to many military and civilian applications. Rechargeable battery packs are a key component of the current and future hybrid power systems in all-electric and more-electric platforms. Examples include the energy storage component of hybrid-electric drives for more efficient land vehicles and power for extending the mission times of unmanned underwater vehicles. The incorporation of nanoparticles in battery electrodes is leading to higher power densities, so batteries may be increasingly considered as front-end components of pulsed power systems, e.g. electric weapons. It is an unfortunate reality that higher power and energy densities also correlate with greater potential hazards, such as fire or explosion. The safety issues are not just the sudden energy release during certain modes of failure, but also the expulsion of a variety of chemicals, many of which are toxic and also potentially damaging to vehicle systems or the environment. Electrical energy storage is important to many LTCR’s so large format battery packs have wide application. The size of battery, or module, to be considered will be up to 100kg.


The task group will bring together the large body of information in the literature on battery performance and safety, as well as reports on battery failures, plus the work being pursued in national programmes in order to: establish guidelines for specifying the best battery chemistry for a given application; establish what is known and what is not known about failure modes in advanced batteries; analyse strategies for safer high energy density battery components and protection systems; and recommend directions for battery architectures and for platform designers, in order to influence the balance between performance and safety. The results are intended to educate users and decision makers regarding safe and reliable operation. Recommendations will be made on strategies for safe integration of large batteries.


Topics include, but are not limited to: the nature of the cell chemistries; scaling factors in the performance of batteries under different environmental conditions; low/zero-flammability cell materials; active and passive protection systems; failure modes and emissions in advanced batteries.

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