Thermal safety management for vehicle battery systems
Research Project, 2020 – 2023

Purpose and goal
The energy stored in vehicle batteries poses an enormous danger as they may self-ignite with fatal consequences. Without further development we can expect the number of such accidents to increase drastically as the number of electric vehicles increases. In this project, we aim to derive the obviously most cost-effective solution to mitigate this, i.e. completely avoid the initiation of TR, using algorithms running continuously, supervising the batteries and acting on level of hazard.

Expected results and effects
The project is a collaboration between Volvo Cars and Chalmers and Geely and the Beijing Institute of Technology (BIT) in China. It is expected to provide a lasting collaboration, which is beneficial as BIT is responsible for the database in which data from basically every cell in every electric vehicle in China is registered. The methods for detecting the danger of self-ignition are expected to not only save lives but also enormous resources as alternative methods require extensive hardware.

Approach and implementation
Accidents with thermal runaway in batteries are thankfully uncommon and once an accident occurs, the data collected is usually lost. The availability of relevant data is therefore critical. The plan is to get around this in two ways here. The first is to mathematically model the physical causes of the runaway with a very high level of detail in order to be able to simulate data. The second is to use selected data from the Chinese database to both evaluate and develop the diagnostic methods.



Xiaobo Qu (contact)

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, GeoEngineering

Torsten Wik

Chalmers, Electrical Engineering, Systems and control


Beijing Institute of Technology

Beijing, China

Geely Automobile

Wan Chai, Hong Kong

Volvo Cars

Göteborg, Sweden



Project ID: 2019-03402
Funding Chalmers participation during 2020–2023

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