2017 MRS Fall Meeting and Exhibit | Boston, Massachusetts

Tutorial ES05—Energy Storage System Materials and Design Safety Considerations—A Materials Perspective

Sunday, November 26, 2017
1:30 PM - 5:00 PM
Hynes, Level 2, Room 209

Energy storage safety becomes complex when the topic moves out of the R&D laboratory and into an application in electric vehicles or stationary storage applications.  The safety and reliability relies not only on the performance of the electrodes and electrolytes of a battery, but must build in understanding and consideration of the power electronics, the software controls, human factors, as well as the cell and battery components and design. 

There is growing need and awareness of the need to better understand and control the safety of our energy storage systems.  This tutorial will focus on the current state of the art of entire system design from materials considerations on the cell to system scale, as well as the most pressing needs for the implementation of resilient energy storage.  This will incorporate understanding of the materials and electrochemical science as well as thermal properties and thermal modeling.  In addition, there will be a review of materials understanding to address incident preparedness with respect to fire suppressant chemistries and processes for best containing failures.

1:30 pm – 2:15 pm
Part I: Materials at the Cell to System Level for Safety Considerations

This section will review the current state of the art in inherently safe materials design from shutdown separators to flame-resistent electrolytes, as well as understanding of SEI chemistry impact on failures. Consideration of packaging and thermal properties of materials that will mitigate or facilitate thermal propagation leading to thermal runaway in batteries.

2:15 pm – 3:00 pm
Part II: Modeling of Thermal Characteristics and Safety

This section will review modeling of thermal behavior and safety for maintaining optimal conditions and extending life, improving reliability, and predicting and mapping failure events with materials and electrode level considerations and scaling to system behavior.

3:00 pm – 3:30 pm  BREAK

3:30 pm – 4:15 pm
Part III: Systems and Engineering Aspects Including Safety and Reliability

Systems integration including packaging, thermal management systems, power electronics and power conversion systems and control electronics are complex and critical to safety and reliability. The system and engineering aspects represent a significant cost and component, and system-level integration continues to present significant opportunities for further research. Unlike batteries for consumer electronics and battery packs for electric vehicles, the scale and complexity of large stationary applications in the electric grid impose a complex set of requirements on the safety and reliability of grid-scale energy storage systems. This section will review the fundamental safety aspects of grid energy storage and how the overall engineering and control architecture of large-scale energy storage systems impacts performance and reliability.

4:15 pm – 5:00 pm
Part IV: Research and Development Priorities for a More Resilient Energy Storage System

The final section will review the state of designing resilient energy storage, and summarize the key gap areas in need of materials science understanding and materials engineering to ensure a more robust technology.  It will provide common sense guidance of the materials measures that should be recorded and reported at each scale level, from new materials, through lab scale cells, to commercial cells and systems to provide a better picture of the practicality of a technology or design based on learnings to date from energy storage R&D through commercially interested stakeholders in storage.  This section will consider R&D scale materials solutions to safer cell chemistries, and materials for suppressing and containing excess heat, released chemicals and fire in off normal events involving complex electrochemical energy storage devices.


  • Summer Ferreira, Sandia National Laboratories
  • Heather Barkholtz, Sandia National Laboratories
  • Partha Mukherjee, Purdue University

Publishing Alliance

MRS publishes with Springer Nature