Thermochimica Acta, Vol.606, 77-83, 2015
Enhanced thermal property measurement of a silver zinc battery cell using isothermal calorimetry
The push for increased energy density of electrochemical cells highlights the need for novel electrochemical techniques as well as additional characterization methods for these cells in order to meet user needs and safety requirements. To achieve ever increasing energy densities and faster controlled release of that energy, all materials of construction must be constantly evaluated from electrode to casing and everything in-between. Increasing the energy density of the cell improves its utility, but it also increases the waste heat and maximum potential uncontrolled energy release. Design agents and system developers need new ways to monitor and classify the probability and severity of the catastrophic failures as well as the system characteristics during intended operation. To support optimization of these battery cells it is necessary to understand their thermal characteristics at rest as well as under prescribed charge and discharge cycles. One of the many calorimetric tools available to observe and record these characteristics is heat flow calorimetry. Typically, a heat flow calorimeter is operated isothermally and measures the sum heat released or consumed by a sample material inside of a calorimetric measuring cell. For this study an improved calorimetric measuring cell for a modified Hart 6209 precision temperature bath was designed and constructed to measure the heat flow of larger electrochemical cells (18 x 8 x 16 cm). This new calorimetric measuring cell is constructed to allow independent measurements of heat flow among each of the sample's six sides in contrast to the typical one measurement of the average heat flow. Heat flows from 0.01 to 7.00 Watts were measured by the calorimeter with an average signal noise less than 1 mW during the charge and discharge cycles of the batteries under test. The heat capacities of the samples were also determined with experimental deviation of less than 2%. This paper provides a description of the calorimeter, calibration test results on its performance, and test results from two cells tested. Published by Elsevier B.V.