Scroll Top

What is Thermal Runaway?

Thermal runaway is a dangerous chemical reaction. It can happen in lithium-ion batteries. It has become a major problem for the electric vehicle (EV) industry. This phenomenon describes a rise in runaway heat and pressure inside the battery. It can cause worse performance, shorter battery life, and even fires and explosions. EVs need more range. But, higher battery density and capacity have greatly increased the risk of thermal runaway. This affects the battery’s efficiency and safety. It also affects the brand reputation of EV makers. It affects the safety of users’ lives and property.

Against this backdrop, good BTMS are critical. They ensure battery cells stay at a safe temperature. This prevents thermal runaway. In the following article, we will explore thermal runaway to help you better understand the issue.

Advanced Battery Technologies and Thermal Management for Electric Vehicles - Preventing Thermal Runaway

Table of Contents

What Is Thermal Runaway?

Thermal runaway is a risky event in lithium-ion batteries. It is an uncontrollable and fast rise in temperature and pressure inside the battery. The process starts with the battery heating up inside. When it reaches a critical temperature, it speeds up the chemical reactions. This makes the battery get even hotter. This quickly leads to a decline in battery performance. It also causes serious safety incidents like gas emissions, high temperatures, toxic fumes, and fires.

Due to the high energy density characteristics of lithium-ion batteries of current batteries. The battery’s temperature may rise rapidly. This can happen if heat from charging or discharging is not dissipated well. Or if the battery is damaged, overcharged, or faces other abnormal conditions. If the temperature exceeds the safety limit, the battery’s electrolyte may decompose. This creates more heat and gas and makes the risk of thermal runaway worse.

So, a good battery thermal management system (BTMS) is needed to prevent overheating and keep batteries safe. Trumonytech’s advanced liquid-cooled plate technology is designed to solve this problem. It provides EV/ESS with an efficient and reliable BTMS that makes the battery environment more stable.

The importance of thermal management in battery technology

Main causes of thermal runaway

Thermal runaway is dangerous. It can happen in the operation of lithium-ion batteries. It involves many factors, including internal short circuits, overcharging, and discharging. Also, it involves the effects of external heat sources, electrolyte decomposition, BMS deficiencies, and battery aging and wear. Understanding these factors is critical to improving battery safety and reliability.

Internal short circuits: Short circuits inside batteries cause most thermal runaways. They can come from physical damage, manufacturing defects, or broken partitions. These conditions can make the electrodes touch. This contact triggers a short circuit. It can quickly raise battery temperature.

Overcharging and discharging: Exceeding a battery’s recommended charging and discharging limits adds stress to the battery. This can lead to runaway chemical reactions. Overcharging is very dangerous. It can make the electrolyte overheat and decompose. This speeds up the start of thermal runaway.

External Heat Sources: High temperatures or being near heat-generating equipment can greatly raise a battery’s temperature. High temperatures and heat-generating equipment can raise a battery’s temperature. This can push it to a critical point that triggers thermal runaway.

Electrolyte Decomposition:At high temperatures, the electrolyte in the battery may break down. This breakdown produces gases and other substances. These gases can increase the pressure inside the battery, causing the battery case to rupture or, in more severe cases, explode.

Inadequate Battery Management System: A good Battery Management System (BMS) is essential. It monitors the battery and controls its temperature. A bad BMS may not monitor charge and discharge or battery temperature well. This can cause overheating and thermal runaway.

Aging and Wear and Tear: Battery performance degrades over time and with use. The battery ages. This leads to more resistance and loss of parts. This raises the risk of thermal runaway.

The complex internal structure of batteries can be subject to thermal runaway risks such as short circuits and overheating.

How to Prevent and Manage Thermal Runaway

Preventing and managing thermal runaway in lithium-ion batteries is key. It ensures the safe operation of electric vehicles (EVs) and energy storage systems (ESS). The risk of thermal runaway can be greatly reduced. A set of measures can protect battery systems from damage. Below are some key prevention and management strategies:

Design and Manufacturing: Quality control is critical. It happens during the design and manufacturing of the battery. Internal short circuits can be prevented by using high-quality materials and ensuring accurate assembly of battery components. This includes strengthening the battery separators to avoid damage and defects. It also includes ensuring that there is enough isolation between battery cells to reduce short circuits.

Effective Battery Management System (BMS): An advanced BMS is key to preventing thermal runaway. It allows real-time monitoring of the battery’s status. This includes its voltage, current, and temperature. The BMS provides precise charge and discharge control. It stops overcharging and discharging. This reduces the risk of thermal runaway. Also, the BMS can act right away when it detects a problem. For example, it can disconnect the battery or turn on the cooling system. This prevents further temperature rise.

Temperature regulation: Implementing good cooling and thermal barriers is key. They control battery temperature and prevent thermal runaway. Liquid and air-cooled systems are common. They conduct the heat made by the battery well. In some tough cases, PCM and heat pipes can boost cooling.

Regular Inspection and Maintenance: Battery systems in high-demand applications need regular health checks and maintenance. These measures are important to ensure safety. This includes checking the battery’s physical condition. It also includes testing battery performance. And it involves assessing if the BMS is working well. By identifying and resolving issues promptly, thermal runaway events can be effectively prevented.

Impact of thermal runaway on the electric vehicle industry

Thermal runaway has a big impact on the electric vehicle (EV) industry. It affects vehicle safety and the maker’s finances and brand. Thermal runaway events can overheat the battery. This can cause a fire or explosion. They endanger passengers and those around them. Such incidents can result in big injuries. They can also cause damage to the vehicle and its surroundings.

A thermal runaway event can cause costly recalls from an economic perspective. These costs include direct repair and replacement costs. They also include indirect losses from reduced sales, lower stock prices, and weakened consumer confidence. Also, a thermal runaway event can draw regulators’ attention. This can lead to stricter safety standards and testing, raising the complexity and cost of EV production.

Preventative measures are critical to safeguarding consumer safety and maintaining brand reputation. By investing in efficient Battery Thermal Management Systems (BTMS) and using advanced Battery Management Systems (BMS), EV manufacturers can greatly reduce the risk of thermal runaway. This improves battery safety and stability. It also boosts the EV’s performance and range. In addition, educating users on proper battery use and maintenance is an important part of preventing thermal runaway.

So, being proactive can prevent safety incidents. It can also protect and improve the market position of EV brands. With the rapid growth of the electric vehicle industry, it is incumbent upon every manufacturer to focus on and invest in battery safety technology.

Preventing overheating and ensuring safe operation, maintaining electric vehicle battery systems to avoid thermal runaway


Thermal runaway is a big risk in using lithium-ion batteries. It can cause overheating, fire, and even explosion. This poses a serious threat to user safety and harms the electric vehicle industry’s growth. An effective Battery Thermal Management System (BTMS) is vital to prevent thermal runaway. This requires accurate battery design, an efficient Battery Management System (BMS), timely temperature regulation, user education, and regular battery inspection and maintenance. Trumonytechs is dedicated to safe and reliable thermal management of electric vehicles and energy storage. They do this through advanced liquid-cooled panel tech and professional battery pack solutions. and reliable thermal management. Contact us today for your dedicated solution.


Thermal runaway is a dangerous phenomenon. It can happen in lithium-ion batteries. It involves a rapid and uncontrollable rise in the battery’s internal temperature and pressure. This rise can cause overheating, fire, or explosion. This state is usually triggered by an uncontrolled chemical reaction within the battery, leading to an increased chain reaction of temperature and pressure.

The main causes of thermal runaway include internal short circuits, overcharging, and discharging. Also, the effects of external heat sources, electrolyte decomposition, and bad battery management systems (BMS). Physical damage or manufacturing defects cause internal short circuits. Excessive charging, discharging, and improper temperatures can worsen chemical reactions in the battery. This increases the risk of thermal runaway.

To prevent thermal runaway, you can: use high-quality battery design and manufacturing standards, use an efficient Battery Management System (BMS) to monitor the battery, use cooling systems, and raise user awareness of battery safety.

Taking these steps reduces the risk of thermal runaway. They protect battery safety and ensure that electric vehicles and energy storage systems are safe and reliable.


Related posts