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New Smart Chip developed by NTU Assesses Health of Battery

Professor Rachid Yazami of the Energy Research Institute @ NTU (ERI@N) has developed a smart chip to assess health of batteries and if it is safe for use.

The smart chip is able to tell when a battery is about to get faulty, overheated or run the risk of catching fire.

Currently, the technology that detects battery overheating is through a sensor signal. It is relatively ineffective as most of the time, the battery is already damaged upon the sensory detection of overheating.

The size of the smart chip developed by the 62 year-old Moroccan is extremely small (about the size of a 10-cent coin) and fits into almost any mobile devices. Professor Yazami called for the public not to take battery safety for granted.

“Although the risk of a battery failing and catching fire is very low, with the billions of lithium-ion batteries being produced yearly, even a one-in-a-million chance would mean over a thousand failures,” explained Prof Yazami.

Considered to be a specialist in his field, Professor Yazami has written over 200 publications on batteries.Professor Yazami also outlined the importance of such technology and its relevance to 21st century technology.

“Usually big battery packs have hundreds of cells or more bundled together to power the vehicle or aircraft. If there is a chemical fire caused by a single failed battery, it could cause fires in nearby batteries, leading to an explosion.” he said.

This technology uses a patented algorithm that is able to analyze both the state of health and charge of a battery through a 3-dimensional chart which then reflected on a monitor screen.

Professor Yazami’s research involves thermodynamics concepts of enthalpy and entropy to assess the health of the battery. He is currently marketing the smart chip through his licensed personal startup.

Professor Yazami is confident that it’s a matter of time before this smart chip is embraced by the public.

“My vision for the future is that every battery will have this chip, which will in turn reduce the risk of battery fires in electronic devices and electric vehicles while extending their lifespan.” he said.

Image from NTU Media  

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