Batteries

Published on June 18th, 2016 | by James Ayre

18

Kokam Lithium-Ion Batteries Get Shot & Don’t Have Thermal Runaway

June 18th, 2016 by  

Originally published on EV Obsession.

Kokam-batteriesKokam Company has conducted ballistic tests on lithium-ion battery cells utilizing the company’s NANO battery technology and found that even when the cells in question are shot, they do not undergo thermal runaway.

The company’s NANO battery technology also allows lithium-ion batteries to withstand temperatures between -40° and 60° Celsius, and to function in a variety of demanding applications.

The press release provides some background:

Kokam created the exceptionally stable NANO battery technology by integrating three different lithium-ion battery chemistries — Nickel Manganese Cobalt (NMC), Lithium Titanate Oxide (LTO) and Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP) — into a single battery. By combining the advantages of these three battery chemistries, NANO battery solutions are able to deliver industry-leading levels of reliability in highly volatile environments, while also discharging at a 10 C-rate (Continuous) / 15 C-rate (Pulse) and charging at a 5 C-rate (Continuous) / 14 C-rate (Pulse).

In addition to supporting or supplementing diesel and other engines, the NANO battery can also replace or be used instead of these engines, providing a silent energy source for sensitive defense missions.

As far as the specifics of the recent ballistic tests, after looking around a bit, I wasn’t able to find out much more, so it’s hard to say what to take from the press release. Impressive either way I suppose — a lithium-ion battery taking bullets and not experiencing thermal runaway. I would be curious about further specifics though….

Here’s some information on some of the company’s other battery technology offerings:

In addition to its NANO battery solutions, Kokam also offers the defense industry Ultra High Power Nickel Manganese Cobalt (NMC) and Ultra High Energy NMC battery solutions. Kokam’s Ultra High Power NMC battery solutions have an industry-leading C-rate of 100, which enables them to discharge very large amounts of power very quickly, making them well suited for advanced weapon systems and other high power military applications.

Its Ultra High Energy NMC battery solutions have an industry leading energy density of more than 260 watt hours per kilogram (Wh/kg), enabling manufacturers to pack more energy into their defense systems, allowing them to extend the operating times of military Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and drones, Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGVs), Unmanned Surface Vehicles (USVs), Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (UUVs) and other defense systems without increasing the weight or size of these systems’ batteries.

More information can be found on the company’s website (here).


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About the Author

's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy. You can follow his work on Google+.



  • gundersonrogers

    Hey, I’m not gonna shoot at my batteries.
    And anyway, I don’t even have a gun.

  • eveee

    The part about puncture ( shooting ) is a standard test. There are also flame, heat, and shorting tests. Don’t try these at home. Definitely don’t do this with laptop batteries. LiFeP batteries among others, are much more tolerant of abuse.

  • Antony Berretti

    The 260 watt hours per kilogram (Wh/kg) is an improvement if the cells are available now, so any step forward in storage technology will help to lower costs and keep the pressure on fossil dependent systems to improve or close up shop..

  • NRG4All

    Maybe my math is wrong, but isn’t 260 watt hours per Kg equal to 118 watt hours per pound? That means to get 118 kWh battery for an EV would mean the battery would weigh 1000 lbs. ?

    • eveee

      About right, and that’s pretty good performance. The 90kwhr Tesla pack weighs over 1000lbs. 90kwhr is nice to have, but unnecessary. The Model 3 with its smaller frontal area than the Model S should get well over 200 miles with a 60 kwhr pack. That would weigh proportionally less.

      • NRG4All

        After I made the comment I thought that maybe the Tesla pack was over 1,000 lbs. Thanks for confirming.

  • Mike Shurtleff

    http://kokam.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/SLPB-Cell-Brochure.pdf
    – Exceptionally High Power Performance
    – High Energy Density (130 – 260 Wh/kg)
    – High Gravimetric and Volumetric Power Density.
    – Excellent Power-to-Energy Balance (up to 50C)
    – Longer Cycle and Calendar Life
    – Low Impedance and Heat Generation
    – Light Weight
    – No Memory Effect
    – High Charge / Discharge Energy Efficiency
    – Low Self-Discharge Rates

    Ultra High Power NMC Advantages:
    Improved performance with 4C charge
    Improved high power cycle life up to 10,000 cycles
    Decreased 50% of internal resistance against standard NMC
    Special coating applied to cathode to improve high power performance

    Lithium titanate (LTO) Advantages:
    Wide Range of Operation: -30 ~ 60degC.
    High specific power: 4C-rate continuous and 8 C-rate peak charge & discharge operation
    High round trip efficiency (RTE): >95%.
    Long cycle life: 20,000 cycles @ 80% DoD, 1C charge & discharge operating conditions.
    Extremely Safe: A thermal runaway event is significantly less likely to occur in LTO cells. LTO cells can also be re-operated after an event of an over-discharge, unlike conventional graphite based Li-Ion cells. This feature enables the user to operate the battery cells under extreme environmental and operational conditions. The advantages of the LTO cells: Originates from the Anode side of the battery cell. Whereas the Anode side of ordinary Li-Ion cells are made up of Graphite, the Anode side of the LTO cell is composed of LTO.

    NMC + LFP+LTO (NANO) Advantages:
    Specially designed for defense & aerospace application
    This hybrid type cell has incorporated the advantages of NMC, LFP and LTO cells in one cell. It is suitable for extremely volatile and dynamic operational conditions. The high power, energy and safety features allow the NANO cells to be flexibly applied in various applications.

  • Timothy A Clawson

    Ok so when are we going to see these marvelous batteries? What are they going to cost? am tired of promises, disappointments and vapor ware. I heard this bull for decades with the photo voltaic industry, and it took 60 years to develop into a viable product. Is it going to take 30, 60 or more years to develop a improved battery for EV and off grid PV. I recommend nobody holds their breath and stick with lead acid gulf cart batteries and gas powered cars for now.

    • Looks like you can order them now: NMC + LFP+LTO (NANO) –
      http://kokam.com/cell/?PHPSESSID=556dd3da52521e71e2905828c6975ed8 and http://kokam.com/modulepack/ and most importantly: “With its flexible and modular design, Kokam’s Battery Module can be customized to meet various technical needs.” So the next step is – http://kokam.com/contact-us/

      • Timothy A Clawson

        What is the price? you and this article doesn’t state it

    • Mike Shurtleff

      “I recommend nobody holds their breath and stick with lead acid gulf cart batteries and gas powered cars for now.”
      …or get a reservation for a $35,000 – $7,500 = $27,500 Tesla model 3.

      …or purchase Kokam batteries now (as Robert has said) …or purchase Tesla Powerwall …or purchase LGChem lithium batteries …or purchase Electrovaya lithium batteries …or purchase from Sonnenbattery …and on and on.

      • Timothy A Clawson

        Let me see, You can get gulf cart batteries for about $100 for a 200 ah at Sam’s Club. I can’t even find anything close to that for the improved lithium batteries without paying over $1000/kWh plus an insane amount of shipping. I can build a 15kwH pack for about $1200. As for Tesla’s power wall it is only 10kwh for $3500, and it is still vapor ware at this point. You can’t get a power wall right now even if you wanted it.

        • Bob_Wallace

          GM is purchasing the batteries for its Bolt EV from LG Chem for $145/kWh. Tesla’s cost for Panasonic cells when the Gigafactory goes into production in a few months is expected to be lower.

          Lead acid batteries are too heavy and provide too few cycles for EV use. Plus you can’t equate lead acid and lithium-ion based on kWh rating. Lead acids don’t do well if taken below 80% capacity while lithium-ions are fine down to 10%.

        • Mike Shurtleff

          Bob is correct. Cycle-life and depth-of discharge (DoD) are kinda important to put it mildly. Why do you think all EVs and PHEVs are using lithium batteries? Lead acids are far more expensive when you take DoD and cycle life into account.
          Tesla Powerwalls are already being installed in Australia and Hawaii. I’m not sure what the status is in Southern California.
          The $3,000 daily cycling 6.4 kWh Powerwall is the one that’s available.
          The 10 kWh weekly cycling Powerwall was discontinued. Not enough demand. Other one is better for most people’s purposes.

          • Timothy A Clawson

            Using Lithium batteries might be useful in a electric vehicle, since many people drain their batteries almost completely. That is not the case with off-grid PV. With this you need to design a system with at least 5-7 days capacity. With my household energy consumption, I would need 4 to 5 power walls. A properly designed lead acid pack will last about 7-10 years. Did we also mention that Tesla only warranties their power wall for 4 years in off-grid applications.

    • Mike Shurtleff

      Do get something for those hemorrhoids. No sense in making us suffer any more of your grumpiness.

  • Omega Centauri

    Since they tout military solutions, I assume that high cost is not an issue. For the rest of us though, it is.

  • Matt

    Shoot it with small caliber or driving a screw driver through is much the same to the battery.

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