Until now available lithium-ion battery cells are usually limited to a very narrow operation temperature range. Other energy storage systems, such as lithium-metal batteries, may allow higher application temperatures, but at the same time they also have a high risk potential and are not rechargeable. Still other battery systems only tolerate a few degrees higher temperature range, but do not cover the very high temperatures that occur during autoclaving or deep drilling for example.
The CUSTOMCELLS® high temperature technology can be manufactured in different sizes. Starting with a DD cell size with M8 terminals, a variety of other hard case cell sizes can be realized.
With the rechargeable high-temperature tolerant battery cell technology CUSTOMCELLS® provides the most important benefits such as particularly high intrinsic safety, reliability and performance at particularly high temperatures up to 150 °C. This combination of outstanding properties is particularly well suited for demanding applications in a wide variety of areas such as medical technology, oil and gas or defense.
New Li-ion batteries meet the highest safety standards at temperatures up to 150 °C. Even under extreme application conditions, such as in deep geological drilling, they reliably supply energy for sensors and can be charged on site. The batteries are available for a variety of other applications. Conventional lithium-ion battery cells only guarantee safe use and an acceptable life expectancy within a limited temperature range (typically 0 °C to 40 °C, maximum 60 °C). Other energy storage systems such as lithium metal batteries allow higher application temperatures, such as those found in deep drilling, but at the same time have a high risk potential and are not rechargeable. When operating so-called MWD (Measurement While Drilling) devices, in which the measuring equipment is integrated into the drill string behind the drill rig, the sensors used must be supplied with energy. This is done by a generator in the drill head, which is driven by the drilling fluid, but does not provide the same power throughout. Therefore, batteries that can withstand the extreme conditions are needed as an energy buffer.
The product and its innovation
Stimulated by the need for MWD equipment to measure boreholes, Custom Cells Itzehoe GmbH, the Fraunhofer Institute for Silicon Technology (ISIT) and the Canadian company Evolution Engineering Inc. have set themselves the goal of developing lithium-ion batteries that are particularly safe and can be discharged and charged at high temperatures. This would eliminate the need to change the batteries that were previously necessary for drilling. In the ZIM cooperation project, ISIT has developed a concept for magnetic field-reduced cells in Li-Ion technology, while Custom Cells Itzehoe concentrated on the development of high-temperature resistant battery cells based on a novel Li-Ion cell chemistry with new material combinations. The Canadian partner Evolution Engineering Inc. was responsible for assembling the cells into battery packs, adapting the battery management system and conducting field tests.
The market and customers
As a result of the development and production of the first sample series, CUSTOMCELLS® offers customer-specific configurable Li-ion battery cells that can be reliably charged and discharged in the temperature range from 0 °C to 150 °C, offer a high degree of safety against thermal penetration and metal fire and can be used with a long service life even under harsh environmental conditions. The market potential for high-temperature lithium-ion batteries is large. In addition to the already existing use in borehole measurements, there are many other possible applications. They are suitable as energy suppliers, for example, for the wireless energy supply of medical technology devices that are hot sterilised, for monitoring safety-relevant or particularly hazardous areas where high ambient temperatures can occur, or as energy back-up systems for actuators in safety-critical areas where high temperatures occur in the event of a disaster.