Safety and modelling of new and aged Li-ion Batteries

The largest battery system for a ship currently built, stores several MWh of electric energy. The consequences of fire in such a system can be catastrophic. The Norwegian Maritime Authority recently published its Circular on “Guidelines for chemical energy storage – maritime battery systems” ensuring that “…battery systems maintain the same level of safety as ships with conventional operation”. Knowledge about the safety performance, gas emissions and fire behaviour is hence strongly needed for large Li-ion battery systems.

These are key topics in the BattMarine project, which will during 2018-2022 contribute to ensure reliable, safe and economic use of batteries for maritime applications. The research partners in BattMarine are Institute for Energy Technology (IFE) (coordinator), RISE Fire Research i Trondheim, Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI) and Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). Industry partners play key roles, for instance by ensuring that the project investigates battery cells which are relevant to the industry.

BattMarine will conduct fire testing and testing of thermal stability of selected Li-ion cells. Fire propagation and fire properties of battery cells and modules will be studied during thermal runaway, by using a cone calorimeter and large scale experimental setups. Based on the experimental results, a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model for fire propagation will be developed. Life cycle testing and comparison of new and aged batteries will also be in focus.

BattMarine is funded by the Research Council of Norway, program ENERGIX, project number 281005, as well as by industry partners. The project is coordinated by Institute for Energy Technology (IFE).

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