NREL/NASA Internal Short-Circuit Instigator in Lithium Ion Cells: NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory)

Matthew Keyser, Ahmad Pesaran, Eric Darcy, Mark Shoesmith, Ben McCarthy

Research output: NRELPresentation


Lithium-ion cells provide the highest specific energy (>280 Wh/kg) and energy density (>600 Wh/L) rechargeable battery building block to date with the longest life. Electrode/electrolyte thermal instability and flammability of the electrolyte of Li-ion cells make them prone to catastrophic thermal runaway under some rare internal short circuit conditions. Despite extensive QC/QA, standardized industry safety testing, and over 18 years of manufacturing experience, major recalls have taken place and incidents still occur. Many safety incidents that take place in the field originate due to an internal short that was not detectable or predictable at the point of manufacture. The Internal Short-Circuit Instigator can be used to study types of separators, non-flammable electrolytes, electrolyte additives, fusible tabs, propagation studies, and gas generation within a cell.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages41
StatePublished - 2015

Publication series

NamePresented at the 228th Electrochemical Society (ECS) Meeting, 11-15 October 2015, Phoenix, Arizona

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/PR-5400-66958


  • batteries
  • cells
  • internal short-circuit
  • Internal Short-Circuit Instigator
  • lithium ion
  • thermal runaway


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