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Venting Technology Critical to EV Battery Life & Efficiency

Image courtesy of Donaldson Donaldson Integrated Venting Solutions Product Manager Shane Campbell
Donaldson Integrated Venting Solutions Product Manager Shane Campbell
Shane Campbell of filtration system developer Donaldson discusses new technology and The Battery Show North America.

The global race continues as battery manufacturers search for the secret to cheaper, long-lasting, and safer batteries to keep up with the rising global demand for electric power. Electric and hybrid vehicles play a substantial role in drawing capital investment to fund research, manufacturing, and adoption of new battery technologies among leading auto manufacturers, a market forecasted to surpass $67 billion by 2025.

While nearly all lithium-ion batteries are equipped with risk mitigation systems, further sophistication of solutions that address the fire and explosion hazards associated with advanced battery systems remain top of mind for manufacturers, especially as battery technology continues to evolve and worldwide adoption of electric power accelerates. This is the province of filtration-system makers such as Bloomington, MN-based Donaldson.

Donaldson is among the companies responsible for solving the world's most complex filtration challenges. Its solutions include a suite of automotive-designed venting systems that lead to longer-lasting enclosures and battery life cycles. A returning exhibitor, Donaldson is also one of the 700-plus companies confirmed to showcase their latest technologies and products at The Battery Show and Electric & Hybrid Technology Expo North America, slated to be held from September 13 – 15 at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi, MI.

Shane Campbell, product manager at Donaldson's Integrated Venting Solutions, recently discussed the upcoming event and the innovative technologies and products attendees can look forward to discovering at the company’s booth.

 

What key factors does Donaldson consider when designing battery venting solutions for electric and hybrid vehicles?

Campbell: Donaldson takes a holistic approach when reviewing the operating conditions of a vehicle and battery pack to determine how the vent needs to function properly. The three most important considerations for the design of a battery vent include:

  1. How much airflow is required for pressure equalization inside the battery pack;
  2. How much pressure a pack can withstand and is necessary for the opening pressure of a dual-stage vent, especially for emergency degassing; and
  3. How much degassing air flow is required during a thermal runaway event.

Dual-stage venting has proven effective in meeting the needs of most electric vehicle batteries. The first stage equalizes pressure while preventing the ingress of water and contaminants. Stage two venting fully opens in response to rapid pressure and heat buildup, allowing expanding gases to escape.

 

What is Donaldson's testing process during the product development stage?

Campbell: During product development, Donaldson performs tests on both the vent membrane and the vent assembly to ensure proper functionality when used in vehicles. Some of the tests that we perform on the membrane include airflow, water entry pressure, and oil repellency. These are important properties of the membrane, which help determine how the vent will perform in a running vehicle.

Our vent assembly testing covers the opening pressure and degassing air flow of a dual-stage vent. We also measure the ingression protection of the assembly to confirm resistance to water, debris, and dust.

In addition, we conduct environmental testing on our vent assemblies to ensure our battery pack vents retain full functionality across the operating temperate range.

Outside of Donaldson's testing labs, we partner with our customers to perform full-system tests on the vehicle battery packs at their facilities.

 

What sets Donaldson's battery venting solutions apart from other options?

Campbell: At Donaldson, we leverage our company's strong background in ePTFE [expanded polytetrafluoroethylene] development and filtration to create unique products for the EV market. We develop our ePTFE Tetratex membrane material and have teams that design specific membrane grades optimized for battery packs.

Donaldson's Integrated Venting Solutions team has developed different types of battery vents designed for unique application requirements. Whether there's high or low maximum pack pressure, we have a product that will work for the application.

 

What are you looking forward to most at The Battery Show in North America?

Campbell: I'll be at the North America show in September; I'm looking forward to learning about the latest advancements in battery technology and design from our customers and fellow suppliers. I also want to hear more about the latest advancements in thermal management solutions for battery packs.

 

What will Donaldson exhibit at the North America show this year?

Campbell: We'll be exhibiting our dual-stage battery vents at the show. Attendees are welcome to stop by Donaldson's booth for a hands-on experience. Knowledgeable engineers will be on-site to show how the vents work in different applications.

As we get closer to the show, we'll have more details to share. We look forward to connecting with everyone again this year.

Click here to register as an attendee for The Battery Show and Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology Expo North America to set up a meeting with Donaldson.

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