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The Role of Battery Housing: Addressing Automotive Challenges in 2024?

Author : Priyanka | May 20, 2024

In today’s fast-paced world, a significant challenge we face is finding a reliable and convenient way to store and protect vehicle batteries. Particularly, the automotive industry experiences a safety hazard due to alkaline leakage and thermal runaway. That's where the battery housing comes into play. This innovative solution provides a secure and organized space for storing batteries of all sizes. Along with the automotive industry, this housing caters to diverse industrial needs. So, let's dive in and learn more about this solution that houses the batteries neatly and safely.

What is a Battery Housing?

Battery housing, battery holder, or battery enclosure refers to a protective case or compartment designed to hold batteries securely and provide electrical contact with the battery terminals. However, batteries are made using lead, silver, zinc, cadmium, manganese, mercury, nickel, and lithium.

The battery enclosure is made using plastic, metal, or composite materials that are resistant to alkaline solutions and invulnerable to the shortening of the cells in the battery pack. The purpose of this housing is to protect the batteries from damage, prevent leakage, and ensure proper electrical connections.

What is the Function of the Battery Housing?

The battery holder’s primary purpose is to contain and protect the internal components of the battery, including the electrodes and electrolytes. It is designed to provide physical support and protection to the battery, preventing damage from external factors such as impact, moisture, and temperature changes.

As batteries contain liquid electrolytes, the use of covering or housing prevents the electrolytes from spilling out and causing short circuits or other types of safety hazards. The battery holder not only houses batteries but also ensures their efficacy, safety, and performance. As battery holders are rapidly gaining popularity, Kings Research states that the battery housing market is expected to be valued at $19.21 billion by 2030.

3 Types of Batteries that Can Be Accommodated in Battery Housing

Three types of batteries can be enclosed in a battery holder, such as:

1.  Cylindrical Cells

These cells are types of lithium batteries and have a shape similar to traditional household batteries, such as AA batteries. They come in different widths and lengths and can be used for both large and small battery packs.

2.  Prismatic Cells

These cells consist of large sheets of cathodes, anodes, and separators that are sandwiched, rolled up, and pressed to fit into a hard-plastic or metallic housing in cubic form. They can also be assembled through the layer-stacking approach.

3.  Coin Cell Batteries

Coin-cell batteries are commonly used in small electronic devices and computer motherboards. Holders for these batteries are made from metal or plastic and can hold single or multiple coin cells.

Key Applications of Battery Housing

Below are five key applications of battery holders in various domains:

  • Electronics Industry

Battery holders are commonly used in the electronics industry to securely hold batteries in devices such as cameras, alarm systems, handheld computers, key fobs, and more.

  • Residential Battery Systems

A battery holder is used in residential or house battery systems to store and protect batteries. These systems are often used to enhance resilience against power outages and can be important for developers of affordable multifamily housing.

  • Transportation

Car battery housing plays a crucial role in the transportation sector, particularly in battery-powered vehicles such as electric vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrid vehicles.

  • Energy Storage

Battery holders are integral to energy storage systems, which are critical for integrating renewable energy sources into the electricity grid. They safeguard the delicate or vulnerable batteries in the grid network.

Key Developments in Battery Housing for Safety and Sustainability

Thermal runaway poses a significant challenge for the automotive industry, particularly concerning EV batteries. It leads to rapid and uncontrolled increases in temperature and pressure, which can result in fires, explosions, and other hazards to the vehicle itself and serious injury to occupants. Below are three developments that help address the thermal runaway challenge:

1. Sikuba Project: A Safe and Sustainable Plastic-Based Solution

The SiKuBa project, funded by €2.6 million from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, is a safe and sustainable plastic-based battery housing. The project focuses on reducing the risk of thermal runaway in electric vehicles by developing a simulation model for mapping the thermal runaway of individual cells and propagation in the module. The project mainly aims to accelerate development and save money on testing, aimed at ensuring a quicker and safer integration of plastic-based modules and pack enclosures.

2. Tepex: A Novel Composite Material

Envalior, a German company, has developed a new composite material called Tepex, which passes standard thermal runaway tests for EV battery housings, even those with low test specimen thicknesses. The material's high resistance to extreme conditions, such as a battery cell fire, is due to its long and continuous non-flammable fibers that reinforce the material in a multilayer structure. The composite is ideal for components inside the battery, such as the cell housing, holder, and partitions. The material also acts as an effective barrier against external fire sources. It is lighter and has a 70% lower density than steel. and is available in a variant containing recycled carbon fibers, making it suitable for housings subject to high mechanical loads and electromagnetic shielding.

3. DIAvent HighFlow Pressure Compensation Elements

Freudenberg Sealing Technologies (FST) developed DIAvent HighFlow pressure compensation elements to enhance the safety and performance of electric vehicles (EVs). The DIAvent range, which includes light ventilation and high-flow elements, integrates bi-directional pressure compensation with emergency degassing in a single unit. The high-flow variant is unique in the industry, balancing air pressure variations within the battery pack housing and providing emergency degassing capabilities in thermal runaway cases. The DIAvent HighFlow element is a cost-effective alternative to traditional parts in EVs. It is worth noting that DIAvent HighFlow's potential for addressing thermal runaway cases has led to a significant surge in its popularity and production.

In a Nutshell

The battery housing plays a crucial role in protecting and providing a secure environment for batteries. Its design and construction ensure the efficient functioning and longevity of batteries, safeguarding them from external factors such as moisture, dust, and physical damage. By maintaining the integrity of the batteries, the housing enhances their performance and safety, making it an essential component in various industries and applications. Its role in ensuring the reliable operation of batteries cannot be overstated.

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