As the world moves towards electrifying the transport system with the utilisation of electric cars, scooters, busses, trains etc. we need to make sure we take into account the inherent dangers of lithium-ion batteries.
It is not uncommon for lithium-ion batteries to catch fire while charging whether they are in phones, computers, work tools, house batteries or electric vehicles. There are many instances of houses and businesses being burnt due to these fires.
One of the issues with lithium-ion battery fires is the temperatures the fire will quickly get to (excess of 1000oC) and the speed with which the fire will spread to anything adjoining it. The biggest issue is that fire brigades are unable to easily extinguish a lithium-ion battery fire. All they can really do is protect surrounding assets to prevent the fire spreading.
6 buses destroyed in UK 230522 – 2 were electric – https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10842785/Bus-explodes-Potters-Bar-bus-garage-engulfed-flames-six-vehicles-damaged-fire.html. 2 electric and 4 non-electric busses were destroyed. Believed to have started in one lithium-ion battery exploding while being charged. Fire quickly destroyed that bus and spread to adjoining busses and busses were alight within minutes when firemen arrived. Plumes of toxic smoke could be seen 18 kilometres away. Onlookers likened the ‘unbelievable noise’ to that of an explosion. There were no reported injuries.
2 buses destroyed in France 290422 – 2 were electric https://insideevs.com/news/583324/paris-suspends-149-bollore-electric-buses-after-two-fires/ On 2 separate occasions stationary busses caught fire on the streets in Paris. Smoke was seen coming from the top of the bus and quickly engulfed the whole bus. Passengers were evacuated and no-one was injured in either incident. Burning debris was seen on camera being ejected from the roof, falling onto the sidewalk and the road like a rain of fire.
25 buses destroyed in Germany 300921 – 2 were electric – https://www.sustainable-bus.com/electric-bus/sbb-stuttgart-fire-electric-bus-depot/ Both electric and non-electric busses were destroyed. Believed to have started in one lithium-ion battery while being charged and quickly destroyed that bus and spread to adjoining non electric busses. Six employees received medical attention during the fire.
4 out of 5 electric buses destroyed in China 180521 – https://au.news.yahoo.com/row-electric-busses-catch-fire-113151677.html A battery malfunction caused an electric bus to catch fire in southern. In seconds, the flames engulfed several identical busses parked adjacent to the vehicle.
Lithium-ion batteries are notorious for being difficult to put out once they have caught fire. Lithium-ion batteries often reignite once they have caught fire and the fire has been put out. This can happen hours or even days after the fire is believed to have been extinguished. It is even more difficult for fire fighters in that they can’t use water or any other suppression methods to extinguish a lithium-ion battery fire as that would only make the batteries explode and exacerbate the problems. You just have to wait for the fire to burn itself out and protect surrounding infrastructure while taking thermal temperature readings every two hours.
Although electric vehicles with lithium-ion batteries, like most petrol or diesel vehicles are inherently safe the push for cheaper batteries with little regulation on battery safety leads to safety sometimes being compromised. This is leading to an increasing number of lithium-ion battery fires in various applications. Luckily, to date, most lithium-ion battery fires have led to loss of vehicles or houses but not human lives, although there have been some human deaths.
When installing energy storage batteries, both domestically and in business, or community or grid support larger installations, more people are becoming aware or the risks associated with batteries that have a possibility of going into thermal runaway.
More and more people are recognising that one of the major issues with energy storage batteries are the dangers with fires and explosions particularly associated with thermal runaway (self-sustaining fires). This has become particularly relevant as people are considering installing the many lithium-ion battery technologies in their houses or businesses and are becoming aware of the possibility of the dangers associated with this.
Salt batteries – the only chemistry UL9540A certified for safety
SoNick batteries are now the only batteries that have successfully passed the UL9540A certification stating they will not catch fire or go into thermal runaway. This certification tests for thermal runaway using five different methodologies; overcharge, external short circuit, nail penetration through casing and separator and overheating to 800oC,
For further information on this certification visit http://gridedgenews.com/salt-batteries-the-only-chemistry-ul9540a-certified-for-safety
If you would like to know more about getting safe, reliable, recyclable, Sodium Nickel Chloride (molten salt) battery storage for your own home, business or micro-grid application visit us at http://quantum.GridEdge.com.au.
We have a number of different sized systems that can cater to your budget and needs from household batteries to grid support installations in shipping containers.