Soteria welcomes patent boost for industry access to critical safety technology

by John Shepherd
Full production rolls of aluminium metallised film. Photo: Soteria
The Soteria Battery Innovation Group (BIG) has said industry access to critical safety technology has been given a further boost, with the award of a fourth patent to the consortium in the US.

California-based Soteria said the latest lithium-ion battery (LIB) safety patent, issued by the US Patent and Trademark Office, underpins the group’s development of innovative technology to eliminate the root cause of thermal runaway.

"Soteria's mission is to have inherently safe cells everywhere,” said co-founder and CEO Brian Morin.

"Baby monitors in our homes, delivery drones overhead and electric vehicles we ride in should all be inherently safe. Soteria is honoured to help the industry pull together to ensure that all of these devices have access to the best safety technology.”

Most LIB architecture includes a thin plastic separator coupled with solid metal foil current collectors. In the event of a defect or damage, the solid metal foils deliver the battery energy to the short, which melts the separator and becomes the spark that ignites the battery on fire.

Technology access

Soteria's technology replaces the solid foils with metallised polymer films – "coated with enough metal to run the battery but not enough to deliver the intense current densities that ignite the cell”.

The metallised films act as a fuse, burning out and isolating the short, which not only eliminates thermal runaway, but cells continue to function.

Soteria’s BIG consortium currently has more than 75 members, who all have full R&D; access to its technology. The latest member of the consortium is Aurora Aerial, whose remotely-piloted drones offer last-mile delivery solutions from medical supplies to same-day deliveries. 

Last year, the consortium exclusively licensed and optioned a complementary technology, developed by the US Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, designed to eliminate thermal runaway in LIBs due to mechanical damage. The option made the technology immediately available to Soteria BIG consortium members for R&D; and product development.