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Explosion Ventilation and Circulation (EVAC) System for Li-ion Battery ESS Explosion Prevention

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DESC0020771
Agency Tracking Number: 0000252640
Amount: $200,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: 05b
Solicitation Number: DEFOA0002146
Solicitation Year: 2020
Award Year: 2020
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2020-06-29
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2021-03-28
Small Business Information
Austin, TX 78757
United States
DUNS: 117084961
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Kevin Marr
 (512) 522-1268
Business Contact
 Kevin Marr
Phone: (512) 522-1268
Research Institution

The key to the future viability of renewable energy sources that are intermittent, like wind and solar, is the ability of energy storage technologies to store energy generated during peak conditions and then use it during peak demand. However, recent fire events involving Lithium-ion battery energy storage systems (Li-BESS) in South Korea and the US have highlighted safety concerns for emergency responders.Li-ion fires and explosions pose significant challenges for emergency responders, and there is a clear need for better technology solutions to address emergency response safety risks. The Explosion Ventilation and Circulation (EVAC) technology is specifically designed to eliminate the explosion hazard and has significant advantages over existing solutions. Common explosion protection strategies allow a deflagration to ignite before intervening to mitigate the event. EVAC, however, addresses the source of the hazard by neutralizing the flammable gases released by the battery preventing the deflagration from occurring and eliminating the explosion hazards all together. The goal of Phase I is to explore and define the failure conditions for Li-BESS, and to develop design tools to implement the EVAC concept. Anticipated outcomes include characterization of the Li-BESS failure environment, development of an EVAC design optimization tool, and design and validation of key EVAC system components. These outcomes provide a critical foundation for prototyping and scale up activities for Phase II and beyond. EVAC is a solution that will help the energy storage industry overcome its safety challenge by protecting both emergency responders and the general public. In addition to social benefits, the energy transition is expected to create significant job opportunities and fuel economic growth. Safety is an issue that threatens new energy-related jobs, and if not dealt with can slow, pause and even cancel energy projects. EVAC is not only limited to grid scale energy storage, and is expected to be adopted in other energy storage market segments including residential, commercial and industrial. Other industries including electric vehicles, logistics (e.g.transportation, shipping and warehousing), and infrastructure that rely on Li-ion technology are also poised to benefit. EVAC provides a unique and novel solution for safety management, which enables these industries to overcome safety challenges that can hinder growth. Lithium-ion battery fires and explosions are also a major concern for the military. Large battery systems are being deployed in vehicles, ships, drones and other military assets across all three military branches. Battery fire and explosions not only impact the safety of military servicemen, but also can negatively affect the readiness of the military in performing critical missions. EVAC technology provides a solution that reduces risks of fires and explosions that can impede military operations.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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