Comparative testing released by Exponent, an engineering and scientific consulting firm, shows that it is “improbable” that Valence Technology’s Li-phosphate batteries will incur the thermal runaway that causes other batteries to burst into flames or explode. Commercially available lithium-metal-oxide batteries were also tested and shown to heat to temperatures up to four times that of the Valence’s lithium phosphates.
“The phosphate cathode material used in Valence’s batteries is proving to be a key component for the next generation of Li-ion batteries for applications where safety is of paramount importance,” said Dr. Quinn Horn, Managing Engineer, Exponent. “In our comparative testing, the Li-ion batteries using the phosphate cathode materials have proved to be the safest. In a real-world environment comparable to a battery being left in a parked car on summer’s day, Valence’s phosphate cathode material was proven to have a greater thermal stability to withstand battery cell decomposition than batteries using lithium cobalt oxide or lithium mixed-metal oxide.”
The move towards hybrid cars has also forced closer examination of the risks of using lithium-metal-oxide batteries in vehicles or as a backup-power solution for mission-critical services, such as telecommunications. The data for Valence’s Li-phosphate batteries is available on the company’s web site.