Lithium Ion Batteries: Laboratories and Manufacturing

David Sereno, Affiliated Engineers, Inc
Kevin Krause, Affiliated Engineers, Inc

An era of rapid change is upon us. Advancements in lithium battery technology have elevated the need for laboratory refinement and testing across a number of industries, with automotive and utility grid sectors heading the list. Significant safety and energy stewardship issues require skills.

This presentation will cover both lithium battery R&D laboratories and manufacturing facilities across a broad kilowatt-hour range, from coin size to grid size. The laaboratory equipment roster includes fume hoods, glove boxes, environmental chambers, battery cyclers, tube furnaces and vacuum deposition chambers. The 2 percent relative humidity (RH) dry rooms create special design challenges; dos and don'ts will be shared. A testing and thermal runaway segment will:

  • Identify the hazards: fire and toxic gases.
  • Provide a typical process hazards outline.
  • Assess traditional fire protection options.
  • Assess sensors and other pro-active safety devices.
  • Identify environmental containment needs.
  • Cover relevant code requirements such as NFPA 855, 68, 69, and DC arc flash.
  • Discuss design solution options to address all of the above.
  • Cover sustainability design opportunities relative to regeneration, ventilation and HVAC efficiency.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the physical sciences nature of this laboratory type, associated equipment, testing requirements and EH&S impact;
  • Understand thermal runaway hazard and how to mitigate it;
  • Understand how to meet extremely low RH (Relative Humidity) dry room design requirements; and
  • Understand sustainable opportunities within the above set of challenges.


Dave Sereno has over 34 years of experience, and leads AEI's physical sciences laboratory and manufacturing consulting practice for corporate, national laboratories and academia clients. Going beyond traditional MEP, Dave regularly leads process hazards analysis and integrates unit under test data needs with safety and BMS systems.

Kevin Krause has focused much of his 20-year career designing electrical systems that support the industrial test laboratory, a highly complex environment. Recent work includes design of battery testing laboratories for higher education, national laboratories, and automotive manufacturers associated with electric vehicles and grid energy storage.


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