NREL’s energy storage team has joined forces with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the University College London (UCL) for a cutting-edge study on lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery failure right down to the cell level, using the lab’s newly patented, R&D Award-winning Battery Internal Short Circuit (ISC) Device.


The use of high energy density Li-ion batteries is ubiquitous – from powering portable electronics including cell phones and laptops, electric drive vehicles (EDVs), to providing grid-scale storage and technology used by NASA for space travel. This type of batteries is very lightweight and has a high storage capacity. However, defects can lead to overheating and explosions. High-profile cases such as the recent recall of the Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 smartphone line emphasise the importance of an in-depth understanding of battery failure. The Battery ISC Device allows researchers to simulate and then pinpoint battery failure right down to the cathode and anode materials, making it possible to identify and then mitigate production issues and build fail-safes into batteries to avert destructive short-circuit failures.

Further information on the NREL, NASA, and UCL study can be found here or in the original press release.

NREL Collaborates with NASA and UCL to Make Lithium-Ion Batteries Safer on Earth and in Space