Epsilor's line of Lithium 6T NATO batteries performed successfully in a series of bullet penetration tests, meeting US Army requirements and Israeli Defense Forces combat scenarios.
In a series of tests performed from December 2019 to March 2020, Epsilor's 6T batteries achieved the following results:
- A lithium-ion LFP 6T battery packed in a metal container did not disintegrate or explode, and did not release particles after being penetrated by a 7.62mm armor-piercing incendiary bullet. In addition, a scaled-down 6T LFP battery that was exposed to an external temperature of 500°C entered a thermal runaway. The battery did not disintegrate and did not release particles containing the thermal runaway effect.
- Lithium-ion NCA and LFP 6T batteries installed in external fireproof cases within a vehicle battery compartment were not damaged and continued operating after an adjacent battery was penetrated by a 7.62mm armor-piercing incendiary bullet.
The tests were performed to address the operational requirements of the US army Ground Vehicle Systems Center (GVSC) MIL-PRF-32565B and the IDF demand for operational continuity of a combat vehicle when the battery compartment experiences a direct hit by enemy fire.
"The outstanding results demonstrate that 6T lithium batteries can be safely used onboard military vehicles in battle, ensuring crew safety and mission continuity," said Epsilor president Ronen Badichi. "This series of tests has been addressing the main cause for hesitation among military and industry users, prior to wide-scale implementation of lithium batteries in armored vehicles."
In order to ensure superior thermal performance, two main configurations will be offered:
- Batteries installed within crew compartments – A lithium LFP 6T battery assembled in a metal container, incorporating directional pressure relief. This battery is designed to relieve the pressure generated inside a burning battery, while ensuring no articles are released from the battery and that no heat or gas is directed or released towards the crew. When installed on armored vehicles, such pressure relief is directed towards external parts of the vehicle or a manifold, enabling safe release of pressure and gas to the open air outside the vehicle.
Following the new series of tests reported by Epsilor, the company also asserts that its 6T battery design proved to be sufficient withstanding a 7.62mm bullet penetration or exposure to external temperature of 500°C.
- Batteries installed outside crew compartments – When higher energy is required on-board and the vehicle facilitates an external battery compartment that is not directly exposed to the crew, Epsilor recommends to use its high energy density Lithium NCA 6T batteries. In addition, the use of fireproof composite cases can contain both thermal and kinetic impacts of a thermal runaway of this high energy battery ensuring mission continuity by preventing propagation of heat and fire to adjacent batteries. Also in this case, the battery has been tested in a scenario of bullet penetration.