Enhancing the Safety of New Energy Vehicles with Sensor Monitoring of Thermal Runaway in Power Batteries

lithium battery

In recent years, with the growing focus on “dual-carbon” emissions reduction, China’s new energy vehicle and energy storage industries have experienced rapid growth. It is estimated that by 2025, the volume of power batteries will officially enter the era of terawatt-hours (TWh), and energy storage batteries will reach 460 GWh. 

The thriving development of clean energy will drive the continuous growth in demand for lithium batteries. However, the safety of power batteries, as a core component of new energy vehicles and energy storage systems, has always been a focal point of the industry. With the continuous increase in battery capacity and the improved refinement of power systems, the industry’s requirements for the quality and safety of lithium batteries have become more stringent.

Development of New Energy Vehicles and Battery Technology:

The development of new energy vehicles is closely linked to advancements in battery technology. The innovation in battery technology has allowed for the achievement of user expectations regarding the driving range. However, safety issues related to new energy vehicle batteries still remain a key concern, particularly during the summer when incidents of spontaneous combustion are more prevalent. Therefore, upgrading battery safety technology has become crucial for the industry. Let’s explore how the development of sensor technology can assist automakers in enhancing the safety of new energy vehicle batteries.

Monitoring Thermal Runaway in Power Batteries:

Various sensors available in the market can be integrated into the fire prevention and control detection modules of lithium-ion power batteries for new energy vehicles. These monitoring modules utilize carbon monoxide, smoke, and temperature sensors to provide real-time monitoring of the status of lithium batteries in new energy vehicles. 

When a battery is in a state of thermal runaway, the sensors can detect abnormal conditions such as gases released from electrolyte leakage, gases generated from battery pack short circuits, and the smell of burnt wires. Based on the thermal runaway model of power batteries, the sensors can then issue thermal runaway warnings to the driver. In conjunction with pre-installed fire suppression devices, timely actions can be taken to address the situation, effectively solving the safety issues associated with lithium batteries in new energy vehicles.

Recommended Sensors:

One reliable sensor that can be utilized for thermal runaway detection is the TGS5141 button-type carbon monoxide sensor. This sensor, developed by FIGARO, offers high sensitivity, reliability, and a long lifespan, making it well-suited for battery thermal runaway detection. 

The TGS5141 carbon monoxide sensor is an electrochemical sensor powered by the battery, with a special electrode replacing the water reservoir used in the TGS5042 model. As a result, the TGS5141 has been reduced to only 10% of the size of its predecessor. 

It is highly suitable for integration into high-integration electronic products, providing high sensitivity to carbon monoxide and linear output of CO concentration. The sensor is designed for convenient use, featuring factory pre-calibrated sensitivity coefficients and a lifespan of over 10 years.

The TGS6812 flammable gas sensor is recommended for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles to detect hydrogen (H2) leaks. This sensor offers excellent reliability and cost-effectiveness, serving as a valuable tool for hydrogen fuel cell leak detection. Given the potential wide impact range of hydrogen gas explosions, effectively preventing hydrogen leaks is crucial for vehicles powered by hydrogen fuel cells. 

The hydrogen fuel cell safety monitoring sensor, installed in critical areas of the vehicle, provides real-time monitoring of the hydrogen system. In the event of an anomaly, it can quickly cut off the hydrogen supply, ensuring the vehicle’s safety during hydrogen refueling and usage processes.


The safety of power batteries is of utmost importance in the development of new energy vehicles. Through the advancements in sensor technology and its integration into battery monitoring modules, automakers can effectively enhance the safety of lithium batteries. Real-time monitoring and early warning systems enable prompt actions to be taken, mitigating the risks associated with thermal runaway in power batteries. With the continuous improvement of battery safety technology, the growth of the new energy vehicle industry can be sustained, promoting a cleaner and more sustainable transportation future.

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