As lithium-ion technology becomes cheaper and more accessible, lithium-ion battery production will continue to increase in the future. However, as Chris Ruckman writes in a white paper for Burns McDonnell, lithium-ion technology doesn’t come without risks.
Thermal runaway, a process caused by battery abuse that can lead to fires, poses a very real risk for users. While not extremely common, battery fires can cause extensive damage and easily become out of control. Furthermore, current standards for fire detection and prevention seems to not be nearly enough.
As Chris points out, gaseous fire agents and water-based suppression systems are simply ineffective at preventing battery fires. For instance, standard sprinkler systems are only able to reach the top module in a rack of battery cells, which may not be precise enough to stop the thermal runaway process. So, is there a prevention solution which can help stop lithium-ion battery fires?
Chris thinks the best alternative is off-gas detection, such as Li-ion Tamer ,which works by measuring levels of reducing gases, such as battery electrolyte solvents and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are given off when a battery cell becomes damaged. Li-ion Tamer provides the earliest possible indication of battery failures with a diagnostic signal, making it the best bet at preventing thermal runaway-caused fires.
If you are interested in reading the entire white paper by Chris Ruckman, titled “Promising Outlook for Lithium-Ion Battery Technology — Once Risks are Addressed,” you can download it below. And if you are interested in learning more about how Li-ion Tamer can help prevent thermal runaway in your lithium-ion batteries, feel free to contact us here for more information.
If you are interested in learning more about our product and how to integrate it into your systems to prevent thermal runaway, please contact us.
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