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Lithium-Ion Battery State-of-Health Monitor

This innovative technology uses a single-point diagnostic to determine instability of a single lithium-ion battery cell within a rechargeable battery pack.

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Researchers have developed a diagnostic tool that tests entire battery packs to determine in real-time if a cell within the pack has suffered damage without the need to individually test each cell separately. A single damaged cell can create an unreliable or even dangerous situation even though the battery pack as a whole exhibits “normal” voltage behavior. NRL’s diagnostic applies a small AC current or voltage to a battery at a specific frequency which is invariant with battery state-of-charge. Changes in the impedance response are indicative of damage or abuse within the cells.

The NRL single-point diagnostic technology can operate as a stand-alone diagnostic or in real-time as part of an online monitoring system. Testing has demonstrated that the diagnostic is sensitive enough to detect a single overcharge event in one cell of a battery pack. Thresholds can be established to indicate relative damage and safety levels of a battery pack, from a unit that has a single cell that is starting to fail up to a unit that is nearing catastrophic failure.

BENEFITS:
  • Simple: The single-point impedance diagnostic method can detect damage to individual cells through a single connection to the battery pack; an a priori baseline for an individual unit is not required once a particular make/model of battery has been characterized
  • Efficient: The use of a single frequency enables a quick test, the diagnostic can work in real-time, and health can be monitored regardless of the batteries’ state-of-charge
  • Sensitive: The NRL battery health monitor can detect an initial overcharge as well as report relative levels of damage from minor impairment to nearly catastrophic failure

Additional Details

Owner

Department of Defense

Intellectual Property Protection

Patent Issued



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