This paper investigates the mechanisms of penetration induced thermal runaway (TR) propagation process within a large format lithium ion battery pack. A 6-battery module is built with 47 thermocouples installed at critical positions to record the temperature profiles. The first battery of the module is penetrated to trigger a TR propagation process. The temperature responses, the voltage responses and the heat transfer through different paths are analyzed and discussed to characterize the underlying physical behavior. The temperature responses show that: 1) Compared with the results of TR tests using accelerating rate calorimetry (ARC) with uniform heating, a lower onset temperature and a shorter TR triggering time are observed in a penetration induced TR propagation test due to side heating. 2) The maximum temperature difference within a battery can be as high as 791.8 °C in a penetration induced TR propagation test. The voltage responses have a 5-stage feature, indicating that the TR happens in sequence for the two pouch cells packed inside a battery. The heat transfer analysis shows that: 1) 12% of the total heat released in TR of a battery is enough to trigger the adjacent battery to TR. 2) The heat transferred through the pole connector is only about 1/10 of that through the battery shell. 3) The fire has little influence on the TR propagation, but may cause significant damage on the accessories located above the battery. The results can enhance our understandings of the mechanisms of TR propagation, and provide important guidelines in pack design for large format lithium ion battery.
Journal of Power Sources – Elsevier
Published: Feb 1, 2015
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