[Powering the future, one cell at a time.]
The rise of lithium-ion batteries in electric vehicles and other industries has transformed how we think about energy storage. However, these batteries pose a significant fire risk due to their high energy density and high operating temperatures. The threat of lithium-ion battery fires has led to the development of battery fire suppression systems that help prevent or extinguish fires caused by battery failures. Recent developments in battery technology, such as the emergence of li-ion batteries and energy storage systems, have made these systems even more critical in ensuring safety.
This article aims to explore the importance of battery fire suppression systems and their role in protecting against lithium-ion battery fires. We will provide a comprehensive overview of these systems, including their design, installation, and operation. We will also introduce several innovative battery fire suppression systems that address the unique challenges posed by lithium-ion battery technology.
Battery Fire Protection Systems
Battery fire protection systems play a pivotal role in protecting against lithium-ion battery fires. These active fire protection systems are designed to identify and extinguish fires early to prevent escalations and reduce the risk of explosions.
Here are some of the most commonly used battery fire protection systems in various industries:
Safev: Developed by Dafo UK and Ireland, this fixed fire safety system offers protection against fires in electric and hybrid vehicles. The solution involves fire detection systems, fixed firefighting systems, and monitoring systems. Safev also has a certification from VdS as an environmentally-friendly product.
Aerosol Extinguishing Systems: These systems are an effective option for battery fire protection. They generate a condensed aerosol, which acts as a non-oxygen depleting extinguishing agent.
AVDfire: This aqueous vermiculite dispersion (AVD) technology-based system is specifically designed for lithium battery fire protection. The system offers an effective solution for lithium battery fire protection and is certified by VdS.
Marioff Hi-Fog Water Mist Fire Protection System: This system can mitigate heat and absorb gases at the module level, ensuring fire safety of li-ion battery energy storage systems, and is certified by Vds.
In addition to the above, there are other battery fire protection systems such as AVDFOAMXF52, ARGON XTRA™ fire suppression solution, etc. that reduce re-ignition risk for Class A fires.
Battery fire protection systems can be pre-engineered or designed on a case-by-case basis. They also come in manual and automatic activation forms. Typically, the protection process follows this general sequence:
- Detecting Fire using thermal elements
- Initiating fire suppression using agents, foams, or gases
- Heat extraction, gas temperature reduction capabilities or contain with agents to judge the enormous energy storage systems.
- Monitoring and maintenance of the fire risk over the battery product life
Next, let’s take a closer look at battery fire suppression systems and how they function.
Battery Fire Suppression Systems
Battery fire suppression systems are designed to suppress fires and prevent re-ignition using agents such as powders, foams, or gases. These systems help limit fire damage and prevent catastrophic loss of assets or even life.
Some of the commonly used fire suppression solutions in lithium-ion battery fire suppression are:
Gas-based Suppression Methods: These systems, like gas-based cleaning agents, are used for fire suppression in industrial power banks and battery storage systems. The agents used are effective and do not contain any oxidizing substances. Some common gas-based fire suppression solutions are FM-200 and NOVEC 1230.
Water-based Suppression Methods: These methods suppress lithium ion battery fires by wetting the cells and absorbing the heat generated. The Marioff Hi-Fog Water Mist Fire Protection System provides good heat mitigation and gas absorption capabilities at the module level.
Powder-Based Extinguishers: These heat- and smoke-detecting devices often come in portable fire safety systems and are used to extinguish fires in cars and other transportation areas where a fixed automatic fire suppression system is not possible.
It is important to carefully design and install fire suppression systems to ensure that they are effective and compliant with regulations and standards. For instance, Firepro’s technology has been proven to be efficient in suppressing li-ion battery fires in more than 70 accredited laboratory tests carried out over the past six years. And many system providers work with organizations like Vds and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to receive certifications that their systems work effectively.
While traditional fire suppression systems are effective in containing external fires, lithium ion battery fires pose a unique challenge due to their potential for thermal runaway. In these cases, fires can spread rapidly and create flammable gases that can further fuel the flames. Innovative battery fire suppression systems have been developed to address these challenges.
Innovative Battery Fire Suppression Systems
Several innovative battery fire suppression systems have emerged that offer unique solutions designed to address the risks associated with li-ion battery technology. Here are some examples:
AVDfire: This aqueous vermiculite dispersion (AVD) technology-based system is specifically designed for lithium-ion battery fire protection. It is capable of neutralizing the exothermic reaction of lithium-ion battery fires, making it highly effective in suppressing these fires.
Condensed Aerosol Generators: These generators are effective in detecting and extinguishing fires in confined spaces like battery cabinets and racks. They use an environmentally-friendly product to suppress fires.
Fixed Firefighting Systems: These innovative systems are designed specifically for hybrid and electric vehicles. They offer several suppression agents, which include powders, gas, or foam, in one system to address different types of fires that may occur simultaneously.
These innovative battery fire suppression systems are highly effective at mitigating the risks associated with li-ion battery fires. They provide a much-needed safeguard against fire risks and offer enhanced protection for people and property.
Battery fire suppression systems play a vital role in protecting against lithium-ion battery fires in electric vehicles and other applications. The use of innovative solutions to address the unique challenges associated with this technology has led to the development of new and highly effective fire suppression systems.
It is important to ensure compliance with relevant regulations, standards, and certifications to ensure the effectiveness of these systems. Fire suppression systems should be designed and installed with prompt action and quality in mind. With increased awareness and the advances in battery fire suppression technology, the likelihood of a catastrophic event occurring is decreasing. Battery fire suppression systems continue to play an essential role in protecting against lithium-ion battery fires and ensuring public safety.