Insulation solutions to protect batteries from thermal runaway

FuturENERGY July-September 2020

One section of the UNE-EN 62619 standard “Secondary cells and batteries containing alkaline or other non-acid electrolytes. Safety requirements for secondary lithium cells and batteries, for use in industrial applications”, establishes the requirements with which a battery system must comply to withstand a thermal runaway event in one of its cells without causing a fire in the battery system. Promat, a specialist in the development of insulation products and fire protection equipment, is working to develop applications based on its intumescent products, to help battery system manufacturers comply with this standard.

No-one is in any doubt that energy storage is one of the pillars on which to lay the bases for a green and sustainable energy future. Out of all the storage technologies, batteries emerge as the predominant technology, in particular, li-ion batteries. However, batteries are not exempt from the dangers that we should understand and, even more so, against which it is useful take preventive measures.

Different studies indicate that the batteries most likely to experience safety problems are li-on batteries. Specifically, one of the risks of these batteries is what is known as thermal runaway, which comprises an internal failure at cell level, resulting in a self-accelerated degradation process due to the heat generated, with the net outcome of explosion and/or fire.