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Lithium Metal and Lithium-ion Battery Packaging Development 2014.

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Presentation on theme: "Lithium Metal and Lithium-ion Battery Packaging Development 2014."— Presentation transcript:

1 Lithium Metal and Lithium-ion Battery Packaging Development 2014

2 FedEx Proprietary2 Layered Approach FedEx has worked towards a layered approach to the transportation of Lithium metal and Lithium-ion cells and batteries. One layer is to suppress a fire within a Unit Load Device (ULD). This is accomplished with the Fire Suppression System (FSS) mounted onboard the aircraft. Another layer is to develop packaging that will prevent the spread of a thermal runaway from one cell or battery to an adjacent cell or battery with in a package.

3 FedEx Proprietary3 FedEx’s Fire Suppression System Both the active FSS, using cargo foam, and the passive system with a Fire Containment Cover (FCC), has been tested with equipment containing lithium-ion batteries and packages of bulk lithium primary cells. FedEx’s Onboard FSSFedEx’s FCC

4 FedEx Proprietary4 Transportation of Equipment Containing Lithium-ion Batteries The FSS can suppress a fire in which equipment containing lithium-ion batteries are present. A 192 laptops packaged and loaded in an AMJ per standard operating procedures were set on fire. The laptop batteries had a 50% state of charge. The FSS successfully contained and extinguished the fire. Note: Additional laptops were not used due to crushing Loading prior to testFour hours after ignition

5 FedEx Proprietary5 Transportation of Equipment Containing Lithium-ion Batteries A 194 laptops packaged and loaded on a pallet per standard operating procedures were covered with a FCC and set on fire. The laptop batteries had a 50% state of charge. The FCC successfully contained the fire for four hours. Note: Additional laptops were not used due to crushing Four hours after ignitionPrior to ignition

6 FedEx Proprietary6 Transportation of Bulk Packaged Lithium Metal Cells A full scale live fire test consisting of a standard fire load in an AMJ with a single layered tray consisting of a quantity of 100 CR123 lithium primary cells inserted into the fire load. The lithium cells were used as the ignition source. The FSS successfully contained and extinguished the fire.

7 FedEx Proprietary7 Transportation of Bulk Packaged Lithium Metal Cells A full scale live fire test was conducted consisting of a standard fire load on a pallet with a single layered tray consisting of a quantity of 100 CR123 lithium primary cells inserted into the fire load. Again the lithium cells were used as the ignition source. A FCC was placed over the fire load. The cells created several small holes in the FCC. However flames from the remainder of the fire load did not exit the FCC.

8 FedEx Proprietary8 Transportation of Bulk Packaged Lithium Metal Cells The spread of thermal runaways was not halted when cargo foam flowed over a box containing multiple layers of cells.

9 FedEx Proprietary9 FAA Testing The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration’s testing has shown that extinguishing the flames and controlling the heat will not keep the aircraft safe when a bulk shipment of lithium batteries is experiencing thermal runaways. The explosive gases must also be controlled. Main Deck Cockpit Door 30 gallon steel drum. ULD

10 FedEx Proprietary10 Bulk Packaging – Strategy FedEx has researched ways of controlling the heat and suppressing the flames when a bulk shipment of Lithium cells go into thermal runaway, however containing the large quantity of flammable and explosive gas that will be vented was believed to be economically infeasible to contain. Equipment designed to contain the flames and the heat while venting the flammable gases over board has been discussed. In fact Boeing dealt with a thermal runaway issue on the 787 by separating the cells with ceramic insulation, encasing the battery in a steel box and venting the exhaust gases overboard.

11 FedEx Proprietary11 Bulk Packaging – Strategy There is no known way of preventing the first cell from going into thermal runaway. However a single cell experiencing a thermal runaway will not significantly endanger the aircraft. The unhindered cascading spread of the thermal runaway from cell to cell in a bulk shipment will create sufficient hazards to endanger the flight crew and the aircraft.

12 FedEx Proprietary12 Bulk Packaging – Strategy FedEx focused on stopping the spread of a thermal runaway with in the package. This provided three benefits: 1.It eliminated the flames or reduced the flames to an intensity level which current techniques will suppress. 2.It assures that any heat generated would not cause damage to surrounding packages; including structural damage to the aircraft. 3.It eliminates the possibility of the flammable gases that are released from reaching an explosive level.

13 FedEx Proprietary13 Bulk Packaging – Initial Testing FedEx first tried to thermally isolate one cell from adjacent cells. This proved difficult. Several materials and configurations worked. However they were bulky, cumbersome, and significantly increased the weight and cost of the packaging.

14 FedEx Proprietary14 Bulk Packaging – Change of Strategy An alternative to thermally isolating each cell is to cool the cell experiencing the thermal event to a temperature that would not adversely affect the surrounding cells.

15 15 Liquid Cooling Concept: A pouch containing a liquid coolant is placed above the cells. When a cell experiences a thermal event, the heat from the cell ruptures the pouch thereby releasing the coolant. The coolant flowing over and around the cells decreases the temperature and prevents other cells from experiencing temperatures that would cause additional thermal runaways. Only the cell forced into thermal runaway vented Bulk Packaging – Cooling Concept FedEx Proprietary

16 16 Modifications to the existing bulk packaging to optimize the cooling concept are required. A buffer was required between the cells and the gel pack. Without a buffer the liquid in the gel pack would start to boil before the pouch ruptured. Thereby cooling the top of the cell and allowing the bottom of the cell to continue to heat and vent out the side. The liquid coolant has a tendency to soak into any absorbent material, i.e. cardboard. Therefore the cells have been placed in a coated tray in order to retain the fluid. Bulk Packaging - Refinements

17 FedEx Proprietary17 Bulk Packaging The gel packs will have to be placed with in the packaging on top of each layer of cells, therefore the battery manufacturers will have to adopt this packaging in lieu of their current configuration. The exhaust gases are diluted with nonflammable water vapor. Testing was performed to determine the fluid composition, viscosity, and release rate. It was determined that a mixture of liquid and gel provided the proper saturation and dwell of the cooling agent on the cells. The modifications will increase the weight of each shipment by 12% to 18% and increase the volume by 20% to 40%, depending on the battery geometry. The gel packs are non-toxic and may be disposed of after a single use or they can be reused until they are damaged.

18 FedEx Proprietary 18 Burn testing has been successfully performed on CR123 lithium primary, lithium-ion (typically found in laptops) and “D” size lithium primary cells. Thermal Events - Sparks and Flames blow through box Gel Packs prevented jets of sparks and flames from exiting the box. Only the cell experiencing the thermal runaway vented. CR D size Bulk Packaging – Results

19 FedEx Proprietary19 Bulk Packaging – Large Scale Tests CR123 Lithium Primary 99 Per Box w/ Gel Packs Two Boxes Per Carton Only One Cell Vented Lithium Primary 25 Per Box w/ Gel Packs Four Boxes Per Carton Only One Cell Vented

20 FedEx Proprietary20 Bulk Packaging – Multi Cell Battery Tests Three “D” size Lithium primary cells with electronics encased in rigid plastic Multiple Gel Pack designs and packaging configurations have been tested. Several configurations prevented the spread of the thermal runaway in a multi-cell Lithium metal battery. A few configurations prevented flames from escaping the packaging. Only one cell vented. Nine batteries with Gel packs lining the side walls and top. The venting gases started a fire on the outside of the packaging. The Gel Packs stopped the fire from reaching the batteries. Packaging orientation prevented the spread of the thermal runaway.

21 The “Layered” approach works for containing thermal events involving Lithium-ion and Lithium metal cells and batteries. FedEx’s Fire Suppression System, both the active foam and the fire containment cover, have been proven to suppress both a fire in which equipment containing Lithium-Ion batteries were involved and a fire with a limited quantity of small Lithium metal batteries. The Gel Packs have been proven to stop the spread of a thermal runaway in a bulk shipment of Lithium metal or Lithium-ion cells. Development will be required for each type of battery or battery pack. FedEx Proprietary 21 Conclusions


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