Project DETAIN: Designing an intelligent EV battery storage facility capable of the DETection and contiAINment of thermal runaway

Lead Participant: Unipart Logistics Limited


Project DETAIN brings together the expertise of Unipart Logistics, Aspire Engineering, HORIBA MIRA, and Instrumentel, to develop an 'intelligent' high voltage battery storage solution to mitigate the risks associated with thermal runaway. The consortium have an ambition to use intelligent systems to DETect and contAIN thermal runaway: DETAIN.

Project DETAIN draws on the varying expertise, responsibilities and growth ambitions of the consortium to review industry-wide requirements and develop an intelligent storage facility to provide the end-to-end Electric Vehicle supply chain with a sustainable alternative to sacrificial storage and the 'let it burn' approach.

The Faraday Challenge has set a target to eliminate thermal runaway at pack level by 2035\. Until that is achieved, the batteries that are designed and built will still be susceptible to thermal runaway, particularly when damaged or faulty, and will need to be safely stored. Project DETAIN aligns with the supply chain need to better manage the batteries currently in production and enable the imminent growth predicted. The project also supports the Faraday challenge for recyclability, as safe and effective storage solutions will be key to development of efficient remanufacturing, reuse for End-of-Life and recycling.

To detect thermal runaway there will be three areas of focus: 1) BMS thermal runaway detection algorithms for next generation hardware, 2) externally mounted (on battery) thermal runaway detection systems, and 3) distributed sensor networks for battery storage facilities.

To contain thermal runaway, Project DETAIN will investigate automation, fire suppression materials, and combinations of the two, to deliver an effective unmanned containment response when thermal runaway has been detected.

The project has additional focus on the safety, legislative and regulatory requirements to ensure solutions being developed are approved by relevant Insurance bodies, and the testing requirements to approve the solution.

The feasibility study allows the consortium to fully investigate the potential of an intelligent battery storage facility and understand the requirements to deliver a proof of concept. Project DETAIN's objectives are to:

* Complete a holistic analysis of the state-of-the-art processes, products and technology to detect and contain thermal runaway,
* Predict how an connected, intelligent storage solution could function in line with safety and insurance requirements,
* Produce a gap analysis to identify further developments required,
* A design and plan for the proof of concept facility,
* Specify the testing facilities required to measure the efficacy of the proof of concept.

Lead Participant

Project Cost

Grant Offer

Unipart Logistics Limited, OXFORD £87,696 £ 43,848


Horiba Mira Limited, Nuneaton £182,356 £ 91,178
Instrumentel Limited, LEEDS £84,750 £ 42,375
Aspire Engineering Limited, Taunton £95,009 £ 66,506


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