Will fires involving lithium batteries deter users from using them?
Published on Sunday 17 September 2023 | Article n°457
A number of fires involving lithium batteries could prompt the public to turn away from them. Firetrace International, a US supplier of fire extinguishing technologies, points out that the main causes of lithium-ion battery fires are
inherent cell defects, incorrect installation, physical abuse or battery operation outside the prescribed parameters, such as rate of charge, state of charge or temperature. Once started, battery fires are self-perpetuating and difficult to extinguish.
The American recommends three measures to reduce the risk of fire:
Install water-based extinguishing systems, which are the most effective for cooling a fire in an energy storage system (it's important to note here, however, that water-based extinguishers can cool down the water in the battery. water-based extinguishers can cool the battery and help prevent the fire spreading, but they will not extinguish the fire on the battery until its energy has been dissipated).
Include a battery management system to monitor, control and optimise the performance of one or more battery modules and to enable disconnection.
Group energy storage units into small segments limited to certain quantities of kWh and spaced from other segments and walls.
PV Magazine of 15 September 2023