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Sodium Nickel Chloride Battery Design and Testing

[+] Author Affiliations
Kris Frutschy, Troy Chatwin, Leng Mao, Chris R. Smith

General Electric Energy Storage, Schenectady, NY

Roger Bull

General Electric Energy Storage, Burton upon Trent, UK

Paper No. IMECE2012-86379, pp. 429-438; 10 pages
  • ASME 2012 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 6: Energy, Parts A and B
  • Houston, Texas, USA, November 9–15, 2012
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4522-6
  • Copyright © 2012 by ASME


The main subsystems in a GE Durathon™ sodium nickel chloride battery are cells, Battery Management System (BMS), and packaging (see Figure 1). This cell chemistry requires an internal operating temperature of about 300°C, which provides unique challenges for battery thermal insulation and cooling. Electrical insulation between the cells and enclosures is another challenge, because traditional polymer-based insulations cannot operate at this elevated temperature range. Similarly, mechanical support structures must be high-temperature capable and also provide adequate protection to the cells and BMS during abusive loading conditions.

This paper covers the basic battery design, thermal management, and the testing that has been conducted to ensure reliable and safe performance. Reliability testing includes battery mechanical shock and vibration plus accelerated life tests on specific components such as the heater.

Copyright © 2012 by ASME



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