Simple, Cost-effective Sensor for Early Detection of Battery Faults

Steve Risser, Jim Saunders, Alex Morrow, Kevin Spahr, Krista Smith, Russ Kittel, Ben Eisenmann, and Flora Li Battelle
Columbus, OH USA

When batteries catastrophically fail, they can overheat, rupture, and/or explode. Susceptible lithium ion batteries are everywhere — in consumer products like e-cigarettes, mobile phones, electric cars, and airplanes. Widespread battery use and the risk of failures have made battery safety a growing concern. Today, checks are performed by checking the voltage of a whole battery cell; however, this method only detects potential faults when it is too late.

A major cause of catastrophic battery failure is the growth of dendrites — small metal protrusions that grow from an electrode. In a standard battery, there is a separator between electrodes but when dendrites get big enough, they can pierce the separator, span the gap between electrodes, and cause a short circuit.

Battelle's simple, cost-effective sensor detects the onset of battery faults early, during charging and use, without negatively affecting battery performance. The technology uses the battery separator to help visibly detect when dendrites start to form. The sensor shines a light into one side of the separator and monitors the transmission of light out the other side. Without dendrites, the path of the light beam is not blocked, giving a “normal” light pattern. When dendrites are growing, they block some portion of the light, altering the normal pattern of light transmission. This changed light pattern indicates the dendrites’ presence.

Battelle's invention is the first to provide local detection of dendrites in an operating battery. By reducing the risk of faults going undetected, the battery can be charged higher and longer. The sensor can also reduce the need for other safety elements in the overall system, lowering total system costs. These benefits can be incorporated for less than 10% of the battery cost.

For more information, visit here .


HONORABLE MENTIONS

Write Once, Read Forever Archival Data Storage

Eric Rosenthal, Richard Solomon, Jonathan Smith, Clark Johnson, and Brian Solomon,
Creative Technology LLC,
Hockessin, DE USA

This optical data storage media is designed to be resistant to the hostile space environment and is currently being tested by NASA on the International Space Station. The media stores data in the form of metallic silver halide “standing waves” of individual wavelengths of light embedded in a stable, hardened suspension on a substrate. These wavelengths, representing multiple data bytes, can be combined at each data location, defining the next generation for archival and massive, big data storage.

For more information, visit here .


Smart Beat

Nate Ruben,
Smart Beat, Smithfield,
UT USA

More babies die from sleep-related dangers than from any other cause. Smart Beat is a video baby monitor with breath detection that alerts parents if their infant stops breathing. It uses computer vision algorithms to analyze the way pixels change color every time a baby's body moves. It extrapolates the movement of breathing and logs every inhale and exhale. Apps for Android and iOS give parents a video feed, two-way audio, a chart of breathing rate over time, and a real-time waveform of each breath. An alarm sounds if breathing stops.

For more information, visit here .


Eye of Horus: Open Source Eye Tracking System

Jorge Mata Arribas, Luis Martín, Esther Borao, Fergus Reig, and Borja Latorre,
The IFs, Makeroni Labs,
Zaragoza, Spain

Eye of Horus is an open-source platform to control any device just by looking at it. The device could help physically diasbled people who cannot interact with devices. This system is a wearable accessory that helps people interact with computers, electronic devices, and everyday objects. It combines eye-tracking with a front camera to know where you are looking. The target devices are identified using light beacons and are controlled with wireless protocols.

For more information, visit here .


iAED Life-Saving Phone

Samantha Horseman, Curtis Gonter, Chris Adusei-Poku, Hawra Al Dawood, and Maryam Al Ghareeb,
efactory IT Future Center,
Dhahran, Saudi Arabia

Today, Automated External Defibrillator (AED) devices can be used to deliver a shock to victims of Sudden Cardiac Arrest to restore normal rhythm to the heart; however, AEDs are still unconnected stationary devices. The iAED design is founded on the IoT and connects mobile devices, cloud networking, crowdsourcing, and nanotechnology to function as an AED device. It incorporates 3D printing and a DC booster circuit via sensor/chip construction into a phone casing, making a mobile phone a charged and ready-to-deploy device with 360 joules required to reactivate a heartbeat.

For more information, visit here .

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