thermal runaway


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thermal runaway

[′thər·məl ′rən·ə‚wā]
(electronics)
A condition that may occur in a power transistor when collector current increases collector junction temperature, reducing collector resistance and allowing a greater current to flow, which, in turn, increases the heating effect.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

thermal runaway

A repeating cycle in which excessive heat causes more heat until the operation ceases or an explosion occurs. For example, lithium ion batteries have been known to exhibit thermal runaway and explode. In germanium-based bipolar transistors, high temperatures cause current to leak. This, in turn, causes the transistor to heat even more and eventually become unstable or self-destruct. Obviously, after thermal runaway appears in new systems, the product is re-engineered to prevent it.
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References in periodicals archive ?
There are a few reasons a battery bursts into flames: most commonly, too much heat or bad battery design makes the electrolytes react in such a way that an uncontrolled positive feedback loop called 'thermal runaway' occurs and leads to a fire."
Soteria's separator and current collector technology helps prevent internal cell short circuits from escalating into thermal runaway. The Soteria BIG is building an open innovation platform around the Soteria architecture, with each member company using its own core expertise to advance the technology in ways that will promote its own commercial success.
An unidentified device defect or an error in the test program could cause thermal runaway, a condition where device internal resistances would decrease, leading to higher currents and higher temperature.
The two battery fires in close sequence identified the issue that these batteries could go into thermal runaway. What Boeing engineered to isolate that problem was to first conduct an extensive analysis of the battery packs.
For large scale demands, Li-ion batteries still struggle to meet cycling stability (lifetime degradation) and thermal runaway, but that doesn't mean that they are not challenging the other technologies dominating this market (e.g.
Key event highlights for this year include an entire day of in-depth training by Exponent on battery design considerations, manufacturing best practices, thermal runaway events, failure analyses, battery management systems (BMS), etc.
The fires are caused by lithium-ion batteries going into what is known as thermal runaway inside the electronic devices.
The company's white paper provides a list of five items that automakers and their suppliers should cover to assure battery safety, including Test individual battery cells for 'tightness', Avoid 'thermal runaway' during transportation, require leak-test receipts on incoming batteries, check battery-module housings and packs for leaks and assure battery cooling-system quality.
The fire department in the nearby Swiss town of Bellinzona later on Thursday posted on its Facebook page: "The violent impact to lithium-ion batteries could probably have caused a phenomenon called 'thermal runaway,' that is a rapid and unstoppable increase in temperature," citing fire safety expert Guido Zaccarelli.