Due to the high total current and voltage in the power sector, thousands of single lithium-ion battery packs are often used together. In this period, the safety of batteries is more important. The safety problem hasn’t been fully resolved with the current battery materials technology. Heat insulation, flame retardant, and fire protection are all effective methods to reduce harm caused by lithium-ion battery thermal runaway.
Aerogels currently have the lowest known thermal conductivity among solid materials. Aerogel insulation materials, heat-insulation panels, and heat-insulation papers have a thermal insulation performance that is up to five times greater than other products. These products also offer excellent fire retardancy and flame resistance. With the growth of the aerogel sector, applications of aerogel to batteries are becoming more widespread. They offer soft impact resistance and sound insulation as well as noise reduction.
Aerogel has a very low thermal conductivity
Researchers have tested the thermal insulation effect of heat insulation boards between single cells. The thermal runaway experiment was used to test the aerogel separator. A 6Ah battery module with a spacing of 20mm was placed in a module with insulation of 200mm, and then a board of 1cm thickness between the monomers. Thermal runaway is blocked in the thermal protection compartment of a single cell.
The experimental results showed that when monomer A becomes thermally out-of-control, monomer in the blank groups without thermal protection quickly heats and becomes thermally out-of control. In contrast, experimental monomer with an aerogel between the monomers reached only 110°C. This temperature successfully blocked the spread of thermal runaway in a 6Ah cell from a distance 20mm.
Due to its excellent properties of heat insulation and flame retardance, aerogel is able to further reduce the safe distance between monomers. Aerogel companies have created a range of ultra-thin aerogel sheets, insulation paper, and other products that are designed to maximize the total power in the battery pack and reduce the space required.
Aerogel will be used more widely in battery applications as my country develops its aerogel industry. This will include the latest military thermal batteries, but also more civil battery applications, including new energy power battery, thermal insulation, and flame retardant protection of lithium-ion and accumulator batteries in electronic equipment.
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