The Utah Power Electronics Lab (UPEL) is pleased to announce the completion of a successful battery test with Electric Power Systems (EP Systems) and NASA. The test was performed in the USU BLAST lab, a facility jointly funded by USTAR and EPS, and recently retrofitted for battery testing. This test was performed on a battery pack designed for use in NASA’s X-57 manned aircraft, the first manned X-Plane in more than two decades.
The test involved creating a planned short circuit within a battery pack in order to induce thermal runaway, a process by which the shorted battery cell generates heat that flows to the surrounding cells. The test checks the battery pack's capacity for handling thermal runaway as well as the other battery cell's ability to continue functioning despite the increased thermal conditions created during the test. The test was a success, and the battery pack performed within the specified criteria required by NASA to ensure the safe use of EP Systems’ battery packs for the X-57.
UPEL staff and students collaborated on the lab set up and have provided equipment support during testing. This was an exciting event for the USU team, and we look forward to further tests that utilize the new BLAST lab facility.
For more information about this test, the X-Plane, or Electric Power Systems, please see the following links: