Test & Measurement


Forced discharge test of lithium batteries for aviation applications

26 April 2023 Test & Measurement

Effective from 1 January 2009, the latest version of the Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air issued by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) added UN serial numbers for dangerous goods, and lithium batteries are classified as lithium-ion batteries (UN 3090 and UN 3091) and lithium metal batteries (UN 3480 and UN 3481). The regulation states that lithium batteries cannot be transported by air if they are not accompanied by a test report or certificate of approval based on UN38.3.

UN 38.3 refers to Part 3, paragraph 38.3 of the United Nations Manual of Tests and Criteria for the Transport of Dangerous Goods, which requires lithium batteries to pass height simulation, high and low temperature cycling, vibration test, shock test, external short circuit at 55°C, impact test, overcharge test, and forced discharge test, before transportation to ensure the safety of lithium batteries.

Forced discharge means that the battery discharges the internal stored power. When the voltage reaches a certain value, continued discharge will cause over-discharge. It will destroy the crystalline structure of the positive and negative electrodes of the battery, degrading the thermal stability of the two electrodes. The negative electrode produces a large amount of hydrogen gas, which catalyses the decomposition of the organic electrolyte. When the temperature is high enough, the positive electrode will decompose and produce a large quantity of hydrocarbons, which will eventually lead to the rupture of the battery, resulting in fire.

Real case scenario

A test required a 3,7 V battery cell to undergo a forced discharge at 500 A. An ITECH T6030D-80-900 high-power DC power supply was used. The PSU was set to 12 V/510 A and connected in series with the battery cell. An IT8912A-150-1200 high-performance DC electronic load, with constant current set to 500 A, was used to discharge the cell.

The sense function of the load was switched on, and through the remote measurement terminal, the voltage of the battery cell could be read back in real time. The voltage and current data used for this experiment was then recorded through the supporting software. The data was then analysed, and conclusions drawn, once the experiment was complete.

ITECH DC power supplies and loads can be used to test all types of battery chemistries. Besides the models mentioned above, there are also bi-directional DC power supplies and the ITS5300 battery testing system for different battery testing options.


Credit(s)



Share this article:
Share via emailShare via LinkedInPrint this page

Further reading:

High-voltage PSUs for optic applications
Conical Technologies Power Electronics / Power Management
For all applications in electronic optics, it is crucial to have a reliable power supply or capacitor charger, with high precision, stability, and efficiency.

Read more...
PCB test points
Vepac Electronics Test & Measurement
Maintaining these access points in the final production versions will prove invaluable during the life of the equipment for service, adjustment, and debug, or repair activities.

Read more...
RFID reader
Test & Measurement
The EXA81 from Brady turns any smartphone or tablet into a personal radar that can pick up radio signals from all RFID-labelled items.

Read more...
Proximity sensor with VCSEL
Avnet Abacus Test & Measurement
Vishay’s newest small package proximity sensor, the VCNL36828P, combines low idle current with an I2C interface and smart dual slave addressing.

Read more...
CNH data output devices for AI applications
Altron Arrow Test & Measurement
STMicroelectronics’ CH family of time-of-flight sensor devices feature compact and normalised histogram (CNH) data output for artificial intelligence applications requiring raw data from a high-performance multizone ToF sensor.

Read more...
Webinar: The key to smart occupancy
Test & Measurement
This one-hour session will allow the attendee to discover the company’s latest infrared sensor with high-sensitivity presence and motion detection capabilities.

Read more...
Portable 100 MHz digital oscilloscope
Vepac Electronics Test & Measurement
The PeakTech P1331 is a powerful 100 MHz four-channel portable digital oscilloscope that is ideal for mobile use on a laptop, or for permanent installation in control cabinets.

Read more...
OTDR evaluates 20 000 km of submarine cables
Coral-i Solutions Test & Measurement
The MW90010B from Anritsu can evaluate up to 20 000 km of submarine cable, and has an easily selectable wavelength that covers the full C-band.

Read more...
Laser shaft alignment tool
Comtest Test & Measurement
The Fluke 831 lets technicians and engineers easily verify shaft alignment, with an intuitive guided user interface that enables quick and complete shaft alignment without advanced training or complicated programs.

Read more...
DC/DC converters with ultra-wide input range
Conical Technologies Power Electronics / Power Management
The THN 15UIR and THN 20UIR series from Traco are high-performance DC/DC converters with an ultra-wide 12:1 input voltage range and a power output of 15 and 20 W respectively.

Read more...