Lithium-ion batteries have become a staple of everyday life, from the small ones that power our cell phones, laptops, and tools, to the larger energy storage systems (ESS) that may soon be found in many houses storing energy created by solar panels for later use. With the power potential that makes them so useful comes additional safety concerns. This morning at SUPDET 2016 we heard from a number of researchers examining different issues.
Mark Smith presented 3M’s promising experiments with using fluorinated ketones to stop thermal runaway in battery packs in “Preventing Cell-to-Cell Thermal Runaway in Li-ion Battery Packs by Means of Fluid Application.”
Andrew F. Blum (pictured above), Exponent, Inc., presented “Lithium-ion Energy Storage System Fires.” The focus was on assessing failure scenarios in energy storage systems. They suggested future fire testing to develop safe installation rules, consider ventilation and placement needs, and recommend fire fighter tactics.
Ben Ditch, FM Global, presented “Cartoned Lithium Ion Battery Storage Sprinkler Protection” which focused on reduced commodity evaluations of a variety of lithium-ion batteries in order to assess and classify hazard levels. The future holds a large scale test of the highest hazard batteries to confirm proper protection levels. Their aim is “protection based on actual results for actual batteries.”