Another Lithium Ion battery fire

2»

Comments

  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Another Lithium Ion battery fire

    kudos to tesla for their effort in protecting the passenger compartments, but it is obvious that the ev industry will need to better isolate those batteries from being impacted and even a means of self extinguishing any mishaps that may be unforeseen.

    i did find it odd that the firefighters said water made the flames worse and needed foam to extinguish it, but they later said that they needed to cut into the battery compartment after it reignited and used water to finally extinguish it. a bit contrary isn't it?
  • inetdoginetdog Solar Expert Posts: 3,123 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Another Lithium Ion battery fire
    niel wrote: »
    kudos to tesla for their effort in protecting the passenger compartments, but it is obvious that the ev industry will need to better isolate those batteries from being impacted and even a means of self extinguishing any mishaps that may be unforeseen.

    i did find it odd that the firefighters said water made the flames worse and needed foam to extinguish it, but they later said that they needed to cut into the battery compartment after it reignited and used water to finally extinguish it. a bit contrary isn't it?
    This is a known characteristic of lithium battery fires, and is described in the FAA's short training video for cabin crew on laptop battery fires:

    1. Any extinguishing agent which cuts off oxygen to the flames will be temporarily effective in flame suppression, but will not deal with the underlying problem of ongoing heat release from chemical reactions in the charged battery.
    2. Directly cooling the battery is essential to preventing re-ignition. The film notes that even piling ice on the laptop will not be sufficient since there is not good enough thermal contact to cool the battery.

    In the Tesla incident, I suspect that water applied externally to the sealed battery compartment neither cut off oxygen nor cooled the battery pack. Foam cut off oxygen, and water applied directly to the battery after cutting into the compartment to get access was finally able to cool the battery and prevent re-ignition.

    A similar long term re-ignition problem happened in at least one of the Boeing 787 fires, and full extinguishing required cutting the battery out of its rack position (the quick release latches failed in the fire!) and then applying water directly to it.

    I have no doubt that our fire fighters will need to add some training time and resources to be able to efficiently fight such Li battery fires in the future.
    SMA SB 3000, old BP panels.
  • bill von novakbill von novak Solar Expert Posts: 891 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Another Lithium Ion battery fire
    niel wrote: »
    kudos to tesla for their effort in protecting the passenger compartments, but it is obvious that the ev industry will need to better isolate those batteries from being impacted and even a means of self extinguishing any mishaps that may be unforeseen.

    Not sure about that. There are 100,000 'accidental' gasoline car fires a year and apparently that's safe enough. There are 250M gas cars on the road and 150K PEV's on the road. If EV's were just as safe as gasoline cars you'd see 60 battery fires a year. Given that I can think of perhaps 3 in the past 2 years - EV's may be many times safer than current cars.
    i did find it odd that the firefighters said water made the flames worse and needed foam to extinguish it, but they later said that they needed to cut into the battery compartment after it reignited and used water to finally extinguish it. a bit contrary isn't it?

    Their goal may have been to cool the battery to prevent ignition of other parts of the car.
  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Another Lithium Ion battery fire
    Not sure about that. There are 100,000 'accidental' gasoline car fires a year and apparently that's safe enough.

    Ahhhh, but there's a big difference - - - we're all used to gasoline fires, so unless it happens to us personally, it's no big deal.
    These newfangled electric things however are a totally different thing in the public's eye. Anything new scares the crap out of people.
    Remember when Microwave ovens first came out? The makers of radiation detectors made a small fortune until we got used to the idea of "nuking" our food.
    Remember when AIDS first appeared in North America? Parents would raise pure hell if they even suspected a teacher had AIDS. Now no one even bothers asking. Now it's wind turbines making people sick. Apparently all some people have to do is accidentally catch sight of one on a far off mountain and they need to see a Naturopath and drink strange concoctions to get their mental health back.
    Give electric cars 10 or 20 years and all public fear will be gone. Hahahaha
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Another Lithium Ion battery fire

    Actually the gasoline fires are easier to deal with. Just read the bit about controlling the Lithium battery fire and compare that to extinguishing a liquid fuel.

    BTW, rates of incidence are not linear, and in many of the petroleum fuel cases they are preventable.
  • bill von novakbill von novak Solar Expert Posts: 891 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Another Lithium Ion battery fire
    Ahhhh, but there's a big difference - - - we're all used to gasoline fires, so unless it happens to us personally, it's no big deal.
    These newfangled electric things however are a totally different thing in the public's eye. Anything new scares the crap out of people.

    Agreed. Ironically the reliability of EV's works against them - fires are so rare that every fire is a big story that makes the news.
    Give electric cars 10 or 20 years and all public fear will be gone. Hahahaha

    Probably true.
  • bill von novakbill von novak Solar Expert Posts: 891 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Another Lithium Ion battery fire
    Actually the gasoline fires are easier to deal with.

    Yes, but that's primarily due to familiarity. (As a good example you're not supposed to use water on gasoline fires either - gasoline floats on water - but firefighters have learned what works over the many decades that they've been working with gasoline fires.)
    BTW, rates of incidence are not linear, and in many of the petroleum fuel cases they are preventable.

    As are many battery fires.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Another Lithium Ion battery fire
    Not sure about that. There are 100,000 'accidental' gasoline car fires a year and apparently that's safe enough. There are 250M gas cars on the road and 150K PEV's on the road. If EV's were just as safe as gasoline cars you'd see 60 battery fires a year. Given that I can think of perhaps 3 in the past 2 years - EV's may be many times safer than current cars.

    why do people read my posts differently than what i have said? am i speaking another language here?

    btw, glad to see warren checking on the forum in the wee hours just like i used to do. so much for retirement. maybe you can tell tony and marc to cover that time period now that they are administrative. whatever floats people's boats.
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Another Lithium Ion battery fire
    niel wrote: »
    why do people read my posts differently than what i have said? am i speaking another language here?

    I often wonder the same thing. Although in my case I sometimes am speaking a different language. :p
  • techntrektechntrek Solar Expert Posts: 1,372 ✭✭✭
    Re: Another Lithium Ion battery fire

    Not all of the EV fires make the news. Like I said on the prior page, the firefighters took 9 hours to extinguish a fire in the parking garage at Social Security HQ (eventually using sand after calling the manufacturer) and it never made the news. I did just find a local paper that mentioned it. http://pikesville.patch.com/groups/police-and-fire/p/hybrid-car-catches-fire-at-social-security-administration

    I'm a Floor Warden (handling evacuations and shelter-in-place incidents) for my area which is the only reason I knew about it.
    4.5 kw APC UPS powered by a Prius, 12 kw Generac, Honda EU3000is
  • SolarPoweredSolarPowered Solar Expert Posts: 626 ✭✭✭
    Re: Another Lithium Ion battery fire

    I'm finding it hard to believe that it took them 9 hours to extinguish.
    Secondly firefighters are smart enough from training to know to use a class C dry carbon dioxide fire extinguisher to burn out electrical fires.
    Being a contractor and installing electrical we have to have class C extinguishers every 150 yards of a commercial project. Even contained parking lots with charge stations according to code compliance have to have class C extinguishers next to the charge stations.

    Just sounds like bad media to kill the electric car.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Another Lithium Ion battery fire
    Just sounds like bad media to kill the electric car.

    i think you are right. now i've never seen a fire due to these batteries, but the flames seem like they were fueled from an additional source to me. we do not know what cargo might have been in that storage area.
  • SolarPoweredSolarPowered Solar Expert Posts: 626 ✭✭✭
    Re: Another Lithium Ion battery fire
    niel wrote: »
    i think you are right. now i've never seen a fire due to these batteries, but the flames seem like they were fueled from an additional source to me. we do not know what cargo might have been in that storage area.

    Its just like any bad wiring job gone hay wire. Rubber will melt and smolder a dark black, flames should actually be at a minimum because of the melting point of rubber, the amount of smoke from rubber, actually limits the level of oxygen for a flame to increase in temperature, and the fact there isn't an accelerator (fuel) to rapidly increase temperature. When Lithium batteries explode, they explode just like capacitors, its like a grenade going off, but without accelerant, its just a movie prop, go bang.
  • ggunnggunn Solar Expert Posts: 1,973 ✭✭✭
    Re: Another Lithium Ion battery fire
    I'm finding it hard to believe that it took them 9 hours to extinguish.
    Secondly firefighters are smart enough from training to know to use a class C dry carbon dioxide fire extinguisher to burn out electrical fires.
    I guess it depends on what you are calling a fire. A thermal runaway condition in a battery can generate a lot of heat, but it does not depend on a supply of oxygen to keep it going.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Another Lithium Ion battery fire
    ggunn wrote: »
    I guess it depends on what you are calling a fire. A thermal runaway condition in a battery can generate a lot of heat, but it does not depend on a supply of oxygen to keep it going.

    that could be a thousand degrees f and without oxygen there is no flame to be seen so it does need the oxygen to keep flames going. the temps will only allow for the ignition of other materials in the presence of the oxygen.
  • ggunnggunn Solar Expert Posts: 1,973 ✭✭✭
    Re: Another Lithium Ion battery fire
    niel wrote: »
    that could be a thousand degrees f and without oxygen there is no flame to be seen so it does need the oxygen to keep flames going. the temps will only allow for the ignition of other materials in the presence of the oxygen.
    And like I said, it depends on what you consider to be a fire. Without oxygen there can still be a lot of very hot outgassing and light emission. To a fireman, that's a fire, I'll betcha.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Another Lithium Ion battery fire
    ggunn wrote: »
    And like I said, it depends on what you consider to be a fire. Without oxygen there can still be a lot of very hot outgassing and light emission. To a fireman, that's a fire, I'll betcha.

    i'll betcha it isn't as it is only an ignition source.
  • SolarPoweredSolarPowered Solar Expert Posts: 626 ✭✭✭
    Re: Another Lithium Ion battery fire

    The problem that I am seeing with an actual fire is that you need what is called the TetraHydron effect. This effect requires Base starter of "chain reaction" where 2 components of opposite make up coinside, then requires an accelerator (fuel, and Oxygen) to create the chain and heat to equal the level of that reaction.
    Batteries have what is called the exothermic effect (due to chemical reaction between Anion + Cation caused by thermal runway and a leak between plates), this is the base of chain reaction, however there is no accelerator so heat becomes generated where it can literally melt metal just like when you weld metals together with a welder.
    Now there is what is the melting point, then there is flame point, the flame point isn't generated without the Tetrahydron .
    Thats why all I can say is 9 hours to burn out the fire is bogus, and even if there was a fire its because there were materials as such used as the accelerator to generate that fire. Once batteries hit thermal runway its just merely exothermic up to 1300*F from chemical reaction.
    Attachment not found.
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Another Lithium Ion battery fire

    Even without flames the high temps can generate smoke, and from a safe distance your average fireman is not going to get into a philosophical debate about whether or not this constitutes a fire: he's going to try and put it out.

    Since pouring water alone on it will not stop the reaction that's driving the temps it isn't an effective means of extinguishing. Hence the need to do some electrical separation at the battery and stop the reaction. But first you have to get at it, so any flames present need to be extinguished (the foam) and then the battery cooled (the water) and then the reaction stopped (cut connections, apply sand).

    Many fires these days are far more complicated than just pouring water on burning wood. In each case firemen have to learn more about how to deal with them. Probably many of them simply do not want to have to take another course in how to identify and extinguish a "new type of fire".

    I like Niel's idea of a built-in suppression system. Sure it would add to the cost, but in this case would probably be worth it. Mind you, petroleum-powered vehicles still don't have anything remotely like this, even though it is possible. This is possibly because, contrary to Hollywood, vehicles do not automatically burst into a giant fireball upon impact.

    Well, most of them don't. There have a been a few models that did. :roll:
  • ggunnggunn Solar Expert Posts: 1,973 ✭✭✭
    Re: Another Lithium Ion battery fire
    niel wrote: »
    i'll betcha it isn't as it is only an ignition source.
    I am not a fireman, but if I were one and I happened upon a situation where there was a lot of heat and smoke was belching, I would consider it a fire irrespective of whether or not rapid oxidation was technically taking place, which is what, in absence of any information to the contrary, I am assuming took, according to an earlier post, firemen several hours to extinguish despite efforts to deprive said situation of oxygen because what was going on did not need oxygen to keep it behaving in the manner which attracted the attention of firefighters in the first place. Other than that I am not sayin' nothin'.
  • bill von novakbill von novak Solar Expert Posts: 891 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Another Lithium Ion battery fire
    niel wrote: »
    that could be a thousand degrees f and without oxygen there is no flame to be seen so it does need the oxygen to keep flames going.

    The electrode coatings in a 'standard' (cobalt cathode) lithium ion battery release oxygen during thermal decomposition. They burn pretty well during thermal runaway even if deprived of external oxygen.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Another Lithium Ion battery fire

    thanks for that information bill. that would mean all it needs is sufficient fuel for the fire and would probably burn with the intensity of a welders torch. that would be tough to have an extinguishing system on it when it supplies its own oxygen. best you can hope for is to limit its fuel and have it burn out, but by then much damage is already done.
  • SolarPoweredSolarPowered Solar Expert Posts: 626 ✭✭✭
    Re: Another Lithium Ion battery fire
    The electrode coatings in a 'standard' (cobalt cathode) lithium ion battery release oxygen during thermal decomposition. They burn pretty well during thermal runaway even if deprived of external oxygen.
    Only the Tesla Model -S uses Cobalt Cathode being that of a Lithium-Nickel-Magnesium-Cobalt ION battery. Also pay attention to its safety rating. Not one of the best batteries to be putting into a car.
    You can't forget aluminum either the chain reaction between anion and cation during thermal runway releases oxygen, making it much more prone to being a very unsafe battery to that of cobalt.

    Lithium Titanate, and Lithium Phosphate would be better suited as a safety advantage, however car manufacturers ignore safety VS cost as The Titanate and Phosphate in comparison cost 15~20% more due to their manufacturing techniques and processes. Not to mention would rather compromise safety for specific energy.

    Attachment not found.
  • bill von novakbill von novak Solar Expert Posts: 891 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Another Lithium Ion battery fire
    Only the Tesla Model -S uses Cobalt Cathode being that of a Lithium-Nickel-Magnesium-Cobalt ION battery . . . Lithium Titanate, and Lithium Phosphate would be better suited as a safety advantage.

    Agreed. Indeed, the Leaf uses a lithium-manganese cathode for that reason. Tesla traded off safety for range. We'll see if that was a good tradeoff in the long run.
  • techntrektechntrek Solar Expert Posts: 1,372 ✭✭✭
    Re: Another Lithium Ion battery fire
    I'm finding it hard to believe that it took them 9 hours to extinguish.
    Secondly firefighters are smart enough from training to know to use a class C dry carbon dioxide fire extinguisher to burn out electrical fires.
    Being a contractor and installing electrical we have to have class C extinguishers every 150 yards of a commercial project. Even contained parking lots with charge stations according to code compliance have to have class C extinguishers next to the charge stations.

    Just sounds like bad media to kill the electric car.

    I told you I work there, and have connections with the on-site emergency staff. I saw the emails they sent out all day telling employees to stay away from the garage. But I'm lying in my one-man quest to kill the electric car - even though I've wanted a Volt since they day it was announced. Right.
    4.5 kw APC UPS powered by a Prius, 12 kw Generac, Honda EU3000is
  • techntrektechntrek Solar Expert Posts: 1,372 ✭✭✭
    Re: Another Lithium Ion battery fire
    niel wrote: »
    i think you are right. now i've never seen a fire due to these batteries, but the flames seem like they were fueled from an additional source to me. we do not know what cargo might have been in that storage area.

    See my last post.
    4.5 kw APC UPS powered by a Prius, 12 kw Generac, Honda EU3000is
  • nsaspooknsaspook Solar Expert Posts: 396 ✭✭✭
    Re: Another Lithium Ion battery fire

    A Telsa crash with resulting battery fire but extreme speed might be a factor. :grr
    http://ktla.com/2014/07/04/tesla-crashes-into-cars-and-building-splits-in-half-in-weho-multiple-people-injured/

    The first 50 seconds is video of the burning wreck. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kE_u731EmYA
  • PNjunctionPNjunction Solar Expert Posts: 762 ✭✭✭
    Re: Another Lithium Ion battery fire

    Just a note - this was a stolen Tesla doing 100+ and crashing spectacularly. I'm sure similar burning mayhem would result from an ICE vehicle, like the recent Porsche episode in Santa Clarita.

    Remember the chemistry used in this vehicle is NOT the kind we use for house-banks, LIFEPO4, which is at the very bottom end of the energy-density scale. See my review of the GBS lifepo4 large prismatics that I use for solar storage. I don't think I'll be taking that to 100+ mph any time soon, but there are those who use lifepo4 under the seat of their race bikes and everyday powersports vehicles.

    I think the Fiskar was the last EV that used pure lifepo4, and not a special mix higher in energy density scale. The Chevy spark uses lifepo4 I believe. This class from Prof. J. Dahn at Dalhouse U goes into detail ...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pxP0Cu00sZs

    Goes well beyond the initial EV situations if you stick with it.
  • nsaspooknsaspook Solar Expert Posts: 396 ✭✭✭
    Re: Another Lithium Ion battery fire

    Very cool science. Thank you for the video, it gives me some ideas to try with the data from my BMS system.
Sign In or Register to comment.