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Fire protection for lithium-ion batteries

Lithium-ion batteries – extreme combustible?!

E-bike, cell phone or cordless screwdriver, lithium-ion technology as mobile energy storage creates new possibilities. Lithium-ion batteries have a particularly high energy density and offer a long service life. But they also harbor specific fire hazards that pose special challenges for safety and especially for plant fire protection. WAGNER meets these challenges and develops individual fire protection solutions for lithium-ion batteries, tailored to the areas of manufacturing, aging, storage and operation, among others.

Today, there is an almost unmanageable variety of lithium battery types for the most diverse applications, which differ in cathode, anode and electrolyte as well as in design, power and size. The term "lithium battery" is a collective term for the multitude of different battery systems in which lithium is used in pure or bound form as the active material of the battery electrode.

Batteries store large amounts of energy. If, due to technical defects or improper handling, the chemically stored energy is released in an uncontrolled and accelerated manner, this usually takes the form of thermal energy. This is often higher than the electrochemically stored nominal energy.
Spontaneous combustion and the associated fire of a lithium-ion battery cannot be prevented, but it can be made controllable.


Individual protection concept for lithium-ion batteries

The hazard potential of a battery must be considered concretely

Generally applicable fire protection concepts, e.g. for the storage of batteries in larger quantities, with high energy density or of numerous small batteries in many packaging units, do not exist. During the individual risk analysis, the type of storage, storage density, processes, type, number and performance of the battery cells are examined individually and compared with the protection goals required by the customer.

Fire risks of lithium-ion batteries

  • Thermal Runaway
    The release of oxygen by the cathode material used in the battery initiates a self-reinforcing process.
  • Chain reaction
    A fire of a battery cell, can quickly lead to a chain reaction with neighboring cells.
  • Storage
    The release of energy during Thermal Runaway ignites adjacent materials in the bearing and the fire can spread.
  • Contamination
    Contamination with corrosive and toxic substances as well as fragments flying around due to explosion.

Applications of our solutions

Production

Fire protection solutions from WAGNER can be used in the production of lithium-ion batteries, especially in the production step of formatting / formation (initial charging and discharging processes of the battery cell) and in aging (final step of cell production with the aim of identifying cell-internal short circuits).

Storage

When storing batteries, whether in mixed warehouses/small parts warehouses for products with batteries/spare parts, high-bay warehouses with e-bikes or pure battery warehouses (e.g. distribution or production areas), individual fire protection measures are urgently required.

Battery test stands

New batteries and battery management systems must undergo extensive testing and validation. This includes investigations of charging and discharging cycles at different temperatures. In order to be able to react early and comprehensively to developing fires during the tests, individual fire protection measures, e.g. with early fire detection, are very important.

Large-scale energy storage

Large energy storage systems in the power range of several megawatts, which temporarily store the energy generated by regenerative power plants (e.g. solar or wind) or are used in data centers as an uninterruptible power supply, are equipped with lithium-ion batteries, among other things, and must therefore be protected in terms of fire protection.

Battery powered systems

Storage systems such as robots in automated storage and retrieval systems or loading stations for industrial trucks must be considered separately in the risk assessment for fire protection and appropriate fire protection solutions must be developed.

References

KETTLER Alu Rad GmbH

AVL List GmbH

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The fire protection solution from the technology leader

WAGNER - Your partner in fire protection

We are pioneers. We understand, live and control fire. Our more than 40 years of expertise in plant fire protection also relies on the triad of the following when it comes to protecting lithium-ion batteries.
   (1) Project-specific risk analysis,
   (2) customer-specific definition of protection goals and
   (3) the development of an individual protection concept.
This competence is trusted by our customers worldwide - as their first choice partner!

Contact

If you have a fire protection challenge with lithium-ion batteries for us:

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