CPSC and CALCE talk Li-ion battery safety and risk mitigation

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A team from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) visited CALCE on March 15, 2019 to discuss possible areas of collaboration in Lithium-ion battery safety to understand causes of battery fires and strategies to reduce safety risks associated with Li-ion batteries.

CPSC is an independent government agency that promotes safe consumer products through the development of uniform safety standards, addressing “unreasonable risks” of injury, and conducting product-related illness and injury research. 

The visiting members of CPSC included Douglas Lee, Battery Project Manager and Electrical Program Area Risk Manager; Andrew Trotta, Division Director of Electrical and Fire Sciences; Arthur Lee, Program Manager and Senior Electrical Engineer; Jay Kadiwala, Esq., Electrical Engineer; Dr. Yeon Seok Kim, General Engineer; Einstein Miller, Project Manager and Electrical Engineer; and Huy Le, Electrical Engineer.

Safety and reliability of Li-ion batteries have been a concern for many companies. To date, there have been incidents of batteries catching fires in cell phones, hoverboards, laptops, e-cigarettes and electric vehicles, including Tesla cars and Boeing airplanes. These incidents have raised the stakes for regulators, such as CPSC, who ensure the consumer safety. Manufacturing defects are difficult to detect and have become a major problem for the safety of Lithium-ion batteries in all applications.

Discussions between CPSC and CALCE involved the need for methods to detect manufacturing defects and internal shorts. Mr. Douglas Lee, Battery Project Manager and Electrical Program Area Risk Manager, briefed the CALCE battery group about CPSC and their battery failure analysis work and CALCE researchers presented their research focused on battery modeling, accelerated testing, and battery safety.

Published March 16, 2019