IP aims to reduce battery fires

March 15, 2017 // By Nick Flaherty
US startup Amionx has launched technology that prevents lithium-ion batteries from being the source of fire or an explosion

The company is licensing its patented Safe Core technology that acts like a circuit breaker within a lithium-ion battery to prevent overcharging, internal shorts or problems from external heating.

Existing techniques, while improving safety, do not eliminate lithium-ion batteries from being the source of a fire or explosion. These existing techniques typically focus from the outside-in with the use of robust battery management systems, hardened shells and fire-retardant chemicals which add weight and expense. Amionx is focused on safety from the core of the battery outward and works even when other safety measures fail or are not activated.

Safe Core is triggered by temperature, current or voltage thresholds with barely any increase to the bill of materials for lithium-ion batteries and no incremental capital cost. This provides longer lifetime of battery and longer shelf life of battery without impacting on the energy density. This would allow greater use of lithium-ion batteries that are currently limited by safety concerns including electric vehicles and power storage applications. It can be applied to other chemistries as well as solid state batteries.

Amionx is a spinout from American Lithium Energy (ALE) which was founded in 2006 by battery industry experts Dr. Jiang Fan and Dr. Robert Spotnitz. ALE has been designing, manufacturing and supplying batteries to the US Department of Defense for more than ten years for military and commercial applications where energy, power and safety are critical.