Storage advice: Lithium storage units can actually burn

9/6/19, 5:00 PM -

As we learned from the Samsung S7 mobile phones, lithium cells can burn. Solar batteries for home supply made of lithium can burn, too.

Inside look into a lithium battery module.

Studies done at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) have put a variety of battery systems under tests.

A lab divided up into two rooms

The KIT has established a test facility to test and optimize commercial lithium cells. The test laboratory is divided up into two rooms, which are separated by a fire wall. In one room, the cells are subjected to an endurance test, the other houses the electronics used for evaluation. In this torture chamber, battery cells for cars and buildings are tested, primarily for stationary applications.

A fireball like a Molotov cocktail

The quality and safety of the systems that have been tested so far were very varied. Researchers came to see that even small lithium cells with a capacity of 20 ampere-hours can produce a large fireball. It blew up like a Molotov cocktail.

That’s why the batteries need a special management system to avoid deep discharge and to check the temperatures within the cells. (HS)

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