• Steve H
    Storing or Transporting Lithium Batteries? Then Pyro Bubbles might be of interest to you, what are Pyro Bubbles?
    Extinguishing granules

    Extinguishing granules thermally insulate the battery. The extinguishing or insulation effect is immediately active and functions completely autonomously. A prerequisite, however, is that the batteries are surrounded by a sufficient quantity of granules. PyroBubbles® specialist extinguishing granules are ideal for fighting incipient fires – tested to DIN EN 3-7 by MPA Dresden for fires in classes A, B, D and F.

    PyroBubbles® consist mainly of silicon oxide with an average grain size of 0.5 to 5 mm. At a temperature of approx. 1050°C they begin to melt and form an enclosed, thermally insulating layer around the seat of the fire. PyroBubbles® can be used universally: they are not only suitable as an extinguishing medium for fighting fires in compact energy storage devices, but are also ideal as a preventative filler for storage and transport. Suitable transport and storage boxes with UN approval are available in either metal or plastic.

    If you have a bunch of Lithium Batteries in storage on your premises, then Aerosol Fire Suppression technology might be of interest.
    What is aerosol fire fighting technology?

    Aerosol extinguishing technology
    Another extinguishing possibility for lithium fires is aerosol extinguishing technology. This is a permanently operational technical system that is used to suppress the fire until the fire brigade arrives to finally extinguish the fire. The extinguishing technology operates according to EN 15276-10, without addition of water. The extinguishing generator effectively interrupts the chemical combustion process within 4.5 to 15 seconds (depending on model) when the temperature rises. This technology is environmentally friendly and human-compatible (not harmful to health, does not displace oxygen). Among other things, it is listed as an official "HALON replacement extinguishing agent" by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S.EPA). Due to the low weight/installation volume and the fact that no piping is required, simple and quick installation is possible. Investment and follow-on costs also remain low, as aerosol extinguishing technology is maintenance-free and has a long product life.
  • Steve H
    The above technologies will need to be considered by shipping lines and used EV importers in the light of Shipping giant MOL confirms it has stopped carrying used EVs over safety concerns
  • Tony Donahoe
    Interesting Steve H. Something I personally and I imagine quite a few others know little about yet, other than the fact that a lithium fire is extremely dangerous. The aerosol extinguishing technology you highlight sounds like an installed fixed system - is this the case. Can you offer any advice on what the best way to deal with a lithium battery fire in the workplace would be, whether that be an extinguisher or a blanket or whatever??
  • Steve H
    The first question would be Tony, what capacity Lithium battery are you thinking of? And what sort of workplace?
    For a small capacity Lithium battery, phone, laptop, power tool etc, knock it down with with a Dry Powder ABC Extinguisher, Wrap in a fire blanket and get it outside away from any other flammable material- bearing in mind that the fumes given off by these fires are extremely toxic.

    Bigger capacity Lithium Battery fires are the province of trained fire fighters, with full Self Contained Breathing apparatus, and lots of water. The Aerosol extinguishing technology that I posted a link to above, looks to be a cost effective way of containing a battery fire. For a workshop situation, EV recharging bay, EV Replacement Battery storage area, that would have to merit serious consideration as a means of limiting the spread of such a fire until the fire brigade can get onsite and deal to it.
  • Steve H
    The latest Electron Issue 113 has this advice for electricians installing EV Chargers, if you are thinking of getting a fast charger installed, or one that charges a larger EVs battery, there may be some extra cost involved.

    Installation of Electric Vehicle Charging Equipment

    The increasing use of Electric Vehicles (EVs), and the demand for higher charging rates, is placing demands on existing installations, especially domestic installations.

    Before installing an EV charger, it is important to check the charger’s specifications to ensure that the charger is designed to operate from NZ supplies of 230 or 400 volts.

    When installing an EV charger (EVSE), especially where the charger requires more than 15 A, it is important for the installing Electrician to ensure that the incoming mains will not be overloaded. It is not acceptable for the loading of an installation to be controlled through the consumer making decisions to turn equipment on and off.

    Equally, it is necessary to reassess both the maximum demand, and the maximum volt drop of the installation to ensure that electrical appliances are supplied with electricity within their safe operating voltage. Excessive volt drop may be a sign that the installation wiring will not tolerate a high load for prolonged periods. It may also result in appliance fires, or failures of Residual Current Devices (RCDs) to operate correctly, noting that many EV chargers contain safety function equipment such as RCDs.

    In some cases, “smart” technology will be needed to moderate the charging rate of the charger, or for the supply mains to be upgraded.

    It is recommended that any permanently connected EV charger is supplied through a dedicated subcircuit from the installation’s main switchboard that is rated for the anticipated load.

    EV chargers are declared medium-risk articles requiring them to be covered by a supplier declaration of conformity (SDoC). It is good practice for installers to obtain a copy of the SDoC and attach this to their CoC for the installation.
    Electrical Workers Registration Board
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