Lithium-ion

Fire management system for Lithium-ion

Lithium-ION Fire protection
Fire protection for Lithium-ion

AF-X Fireblocker Condensed Aerosol Fire Fighting is a solution for energy storage systems (ESS) and battery energy storage systems (BESS) applications. This includes applications in buildings, containers and in cabinets.

 

Due to technological developments in recent years, the demand for lithium-ion batteries has increased enormously. The demand for lithium-ion batteries will therefore only increase. Consider more and more electronic devices that use a (lithium-ion) battery for longer and longer.

A major disadvantage in this development is the fire risk of a lithium-ion battery. This has already had a significant impact on the transport and storage of lithium-ion batteries. IATA (International Air Transport Association), among others, is struggling with a major transport problem. You may have already experienced this yourself when checking in your luggage at the airport. Your devices with lithium-ion batteries are no longer allowed to fly in the cargo hold, but only in your hand luggage.

 

What is a lithium battery?

A lithium ion battery or li-ion battery is a type of rechargeable battery in which lithium ions move from the negative electrode to the positive electrode during discharge and back during charging.

How lithium-ion battery (LiBs) works The cells that are electrically interconnected in the LiBs are made up of four components:

Anode

The active anode material contains carbon in the form of graphite. This is applied to copper foil. There are three types of anode materials: (artificial and natural) graphite, (hard and soft) carbon and alloys.

Cathode

Cathode materials use lithium transition metal oxides. Herein lithium and the metals are the positive ions and the oxide the negative ion.

 

Fire extinguishing for Lithium Batteries
Electrolyte

An electrolyte is a mixture of lithium salts, organic solvents and additives. Lithium borate tetrafluoride and lithium phosphate hexafluoride are the most common salts. The solvents used are propylene carbonate, ethylene carbonate, dimethyl carbonate and diethyl carbonate. The electrolyte serves as a transport medium for the lithium ions.

During the charging process, lithium ions leave the cathode and travel via the electrolyte to the anode. In doing so, they pass the separator. During discharge, the ions return to the cathode. The ion transport makes the electric current possible.

Separator

The separator is a porous membrane of polyethylene or polypropylene that separates the cathode from the anode and thus prevents short circuits. It is placed in the electrolyte solution.

High fire risk

The bursting of cells due to heating and ignition of the liquid electrolyte is the greatest risk of starting a fire. Too fast release of the stored chemical energy, due to a technical defect, also causes the release of thermal energy, which can cause a short circuit or the emission of electrolytes. The battery can then thermally runaway (thermal runaway), which is caused by, for example, this internal short circuit.

 

Because lithium in combination with water produces a highly explosive gas, conventional extinguishing systems that use water are not suitable for fighting a lithium fire.

 

Test results of the AF-X Fireblocker

The AF-X Fireblocker has been tested for effectiveness in suppressing Li-ion battery fires. As it turned out, the AF-X Fireblocker was able to successfully extinguish small-scale battery fires and successfully block the thermal runaway proces.

 

These tests have been successfully performed and documented in collaboration with the Peutz fire laboratory. The extensive Peutz test report can be requested from us.

 

Main conclusions that become visible in the report

  • Significant and rapid temperature reduction
  • Major control phase of the Thermal Runaway
  • As a result, the Thermal Runaway reaction is stopped.
  • Creating a stable situation in a lithium-ion battery (LiBs) storage
  • Extinguish the lithium ion battery fire

Lithium ion fire extinguished
Extinguishing effect of an aerosol extinguishing system

Extinguishing at the molecular level. In conventional systems, an element is removed from the fire triangle. The extinguishing effect of the AF-X systems is more intelligent. In fact, underlying a fire triangle is a fire pentagon.

 

The mixing ratios and catalysis also play an important role. At the molecular level, fire is nothing more than a chemical reaction. Unstable molecules float around within that chemical reaction. These unstable molecules are also called free radicals. When the AF-X extinguishing systems are activated, the aerosol mist directly links with these free radicals. The aerosol in turn provides stable molecular compounds. In this way, the fire is blocked in the very first stage without cold shocks, without water and without oxygen expulsion.

 

Certified

The AF-X Fireblocker developed by AF-X contains the world’s most effective condensed aerosol extinguishing agent. The AF-X Fireblocker is certified by KIWA in accordance with the following standards and guidelines:

 

  • ISO 15779
  • EN 15276
  • UL 2775
  • NFPA 2010
  • BRL K23001

 

With our fire protection systems it is possible to control or extinguish the fire (on a small scale) without causing any damage to people, the environment and other materials and equipment present in the surrounding area. This limits possible fire damage for you.

An additional advantage is that an AF-X Fireblocker extinguishing installation is a very responsible investment compared to traditional extinguishing systems. Our extinguishing systems are maintenance-free and have a service life of at least 15 years.

Advantages of an aerosol extinguishing system
  • Not harmful to people, the environment and equipment;
  • Does not dissipate oxygen;
  • No extinguishing damage (extinguish without water);
  • Simple installation (electrically controlled);
  • Right at the source;
  • No pipework;
  • No separate space for gas cylinders;
  • The extinguishing agent in the generator is a solid, so it is pressureless;
  • Financially attractive (lifespan of 15 years)

Do you want to be our partner in your country?

Call +31 20 20 50 484 or send us an email at frank@af-x.com and we will contact you immediately.

For an impression of our production partner Aerospace Propulsion Products B.V (a TNO company and since 2014 part of the ArianeGroup, a Joint Venture of Airbus & SAFRAN GROUP): //app.ariane.group/en/