Original Date: 05/17/1993
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Best Practice : High Energy Battery Testing
Traditional testing of lithium batteries at the Crane Division-Naval Surface Warfare Center was performed on an outdoor testing range. The chemical compositions of these batteries included lithium manganese dioxide, lithium thionyl chloride, lithium sulfur-dioxide, and lithium sulfuryl chloride. Testing consisted of electrical performance and safety tests, 40-foot drop tests, crush testing, extreme heat exposure tests, and rupture testing. Because of the explosive and violent nature of these tests, containment of hazardous materials and personnel safety had become an emerging problem. To address these problems, Crane took an environmentally pro-active leading role in the testing of lithium batteries by constructing a new battery test facility. In addition to the previously mentioned chemistries, the facility can also handle newer battery compositions such as lithium-ion, lithium-polymer, lithium thermal, and lithium oxyhalide batteries.
The facility has been specifically designed to provide a variety of explosion proof testing cells. Each test cell has a ventilation system that can evacuate the test chamber and scrub the hazardous airborne particles prior to releasing to the atmosphere. Each test cell is equipped with instrumentation and data collection devices to interface with the facility's computer and audio/visual network. Specialized testing of these batteries includes electrical testing, 40,000 force- pound vibration testing, temperature conditioning, drop-shock, and acceleration testing capable of 200 pounds at 300 Gs. This 26,000 square-foot testing facility, which has accommodations for over 50 engineering and technical staff members, is a key national asset and adds tremendously to the capabilities of the Electrochemical Power Systems Department at the Crane Division-Naval Surface Warfare Center.
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