Li-Ion Tamer: Lithium Ion Battery Monitoring System

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Li-ion Tamer mitigates lithium-ion battery fires

 Lithium-ion batteries are found in many common products including hand tools, mobile equipment and renewable energy storage systems (ESS).

While this technology is great for the solution it provides, lithium-ion batteries present a high risk of danger when they malfunction and ignite. Early detection of battery failure substantially reduces the risks associated with fires and chemical release. That’s where Li-ion Tamer comes in.

Li-ion Tamer (pronounced as 'lion tamer') is a new product from Ansul designed to make batteries safer. It detects a battery malfunction long before it becomes a fire.

Li-ION Tamer battery
Image of a lion with the Li-ion Tamer battery for a webinar recording

There are four stages to a lithium-ion battery fire:
  1. Battery abuse
  2. Off-gas generation
  3. Smoke
  4. Fire

Most competitive products are only able to alert to a battery cell failure during the smoke or fire stages. This is often too late as you have passed the critical “golden time” of early detection.

Li-ion Tamer is able to give you advanced diagnosis during the off-gas stage, which happens before thermal runaway occurs.

What is off-gas generation?

When a battery cell begins to fail, electrolytes break down and generate gas. This gas creates pressure and is released from the cell as off-gas.

This advanced warning gives you time to prevent or mitigate a battery failure which otherwise could become a fire.

Stages of a lithium-ion battery failure

Lithium-ion batteries can fail for many reasons including:

  • overcharging
  • overheating
  • excessive discharging, and
  • battery management system failure.
Stage 1: Initial abuse factor

A lithium-ion battery failure starts because of abuse. It could be electrical, thermal or mechanical abuse. A battery management system, which monitors the physical characteristics of a battery, can detect this stage of failure.

The amount of time it takes for a battery to enter the next stage depends on the type of abuse. A mechanical failure, like a puncture, can cause immediate progress. If there was thermal or electrical abuse, it can take 30 minutes to several hours for a battery to enter the second stage.

Stage 2: Off-gas generation

In a lithium-ion battery failure, the off-gassing stage starts to happen before a battery has experienced complete critical failure. This stage is called the “golden time,” and it’s during this period that Li-ion Tamer kicks into action.

Battery management systems are not always practical, like when shipping or storing batteries.By taking preventative steps during the off-gassing stage, you are able to prevent battery failure from occurring at all.

Li-ion Tamer is able to detect off-gas which gives an early indication of battery failure. The system can also close contacts and stop energy flow that would otherwise spread cell decomposition between batteries.

Li-ion Tamer has a built-in suppression component that uses inert gas to stabilize the battery and prevent a flammable build-up.

Mitigating actions taken during the smoke detection phase are ineffective and result in a fire.

Stage 3: Smoke

The battery failure continues to progress if you don’t take mitigating action after off-gas generation.

Mitigating actions taken during the smoke detection phase are ineffective and result in a fire.

When smoke and heat have started, it’s an indication that the battery is rising rapidly towards complete thermal runaway.

At this point, smoke would begin to escape from the battery cell and fill the area.

There isn’t much time between this stage and fire. Most battery-fire detection products rely on detecting smoke, unfortunately, smoke provides very little warning of lithium-ion battery failures.

Stage 4: Fire

Once there is smoke, the battery cell is very unstable. It can experience fire or rapid disassembly at any moment.

At this point, the cell is generating its own heat and energy. The cells have metal oxide electrodes which add energy and fuel to the battery fire.

In a lithium-ion battery pack with several cells, there is a greater chance of fire spreading from cell to cell.

One failing cell can spread its failure to other cells in the pack, creating a very large and destructive event.

Why choose Li-ion Tamer:

When you choose Li-ion Tamer, you add an extra level of protection for your staff, your business and your brand.

Li-ion improves the safety of your energy storage system by greatly reducing the possibility of off-gas events and fires.

Levitt-Safety is the premier distributor for Li-ion Tamer in Canada, we can provide you with literature, product demos and pricing.