Honeywell strengthens safety for lithium-ion batteries and EV workers

Honeywell strengthens safety for lithium-ion batteries and EV workers

Honeywell’s battery safety sensors, when integrated into EV battery packs, detect thermal runaway risks

  • By ICN Bureau | September 12, 2023

Global electric vehicle (EV) sales have been surging, with 10 million sold in 2022 and 35% predicted growth by the end of this year. Rising EV adoption and increased lithium-ion (li-ion) battery production raise safety concerns. Li-ion batteries that power EVs can lead to dangerous "thermal runaway" incidents causing intense and prolonged electrical fires. Workers assembling batteries face risks like hand injuries, exposure to chemical hazards, and potential electrocution. A focus on safety is crucial in this EV boom.

To address safety concerns across the spectrum of people involved in EV manufacturing, transport and use—from drivers to EV plant workers to first responders and others—Honeywell (Nasdaq: HON) has created a number of ready-now solutions to not only protect individuals and assets, but also to help detect the risk of battery fires sooner.

“Electric vehicles are pivotal for a sustainable future of transportation,” said Victor Verissimo, general manager of electrification for Honeywell Sensing and Safety Technologies. “However, sustainability can’t compromise safety. Honeywell’s portfolio of solutions help make the production and operation of EVs safer for all involved, helping to play a crucial role in making sustainable travel a reality.”

Honeywell’s battery safety sensors, when integrated into EV battery packs, detect thermal runaway risks enabling the warning of passengers and allowing EV manufacturers to meet international battery fire safety standards. Through a strategic alliance with Nexceris, developer of Li-ion Tamer lithium-ion gas detection solutions, Honeywell is developing sensors to detect earlier thermal runaway indicators in EV batteries. This early intervention can help avoid costly property damage or worse, injury to drivers.

The demand for EVs is giving rise to more gigafactories—massive battery and electric vehicle factories—and more manufacturing jobs. This battery assembly process poses risks of hand and eye injuries, exposure to toxic and flammable chemicals, electrocution, and “arc flash,” when electric current leaves its intended path and travels through the air or to the ground.

To keep the workers who are accelerating the future of transportation safe and help mitigate the inherent risks associated with lithium-ion battery production, Honeywell offers comprehensive personal protective equipment (PPE), electrical safety gear and gas detection technology for high-risk areas like electrode mixing, coating, drying, and cell finishing.

While sensors can allow for early detection of malfunctions in li-ion batteries, they cannot yet prevent them altogether. In scenarios when a li-ion battery fire does occur, first-responders must be properly equipped to fight these fast-burning, incredibly hot flames. Honeywell provides fire and emergency services departments the gear needed to effectively combat the dangerous conditions brought on by li-ion battery fires.


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