In a licensing agreement with Policell Technologies of Metuchen, N.J., Orlando, Florida-based Planar Energy Devices (Planar) has acquired technology and manufacturing rights for a new generation of safe, large-format lithium ion (Li-ion) batteries based on a breakthrough bondable nano-composite separator technology. This new cell and separator technology has a chemically engineered shutdown feature that prevent cells from triggering thermal runaway, which can result in batteries catching on fire. Safely preventing thermal runaway without reducing the capacity and cycle life of lithium ion batteries has been a major technical impediment to broader use of Li-ion energy storage.

“In recent years we have seen increasing numbers of high-profile incidents where batteries catch on fire or in some cases explode,” said Planar CEO Scott Faris. “The industry has reached a crossroads where traditional approaches to increasing battery capacity have also led to decreasing safety. Planar’s proprietary approach enables a new generation of lithium ion batteries that address both the demands of safety and capacity in a product that can be manufactured in volume.”

“As laminated flat cell structure rapidly becomes the lithium battery format of choice for many consumer applications – ranging from wireless devices to hybrid electric vehicles (HEV) and electric vehicles (EV) – safety will be the major impediment to wide scale market acceptance,” Faris said. “And Planar is committed to designing and manufacturing solid state batteries to address this dilemma.”