After a spate of fires from the batteries of electric vehicles and ESS (Energy Storage Systems) around the world made news headlines, there are surely some serious questions to be asked.
Regarding electric vehicles and the huge number of fires, particularly in crashes, what we need to know is are we moving to something even more challenging? As recently as last October, one major car firm announced a voluntary recall to check the battery packs of all of its electric model. What’s more, in the same week, it was announced that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration was about to launch a preliminary investigation over three separate fires that occurred in one of a US carmakers models. These examples were widely reported but by no means is this the end of the story. Those two carmakers are not the problem, they are just the tip of the iceberg.
SO, WHAT’S GOING ON?
The problem would appear to be Li-ion batteries and how they react to the environment around them. A report into ESS fires stated that of 23 fire incidents that occurred, 18 were installed in the mountains or coastal areas. It was concluded that these environments resulted in harsh conditions including large temperature swings, high humidity and elevated levels of dust and particulates which ultimately led to failure modes resulting in fires.
That’s all well and understood but don’t forget that there have been documented cases of Li-ion batteries going on fire in laptops and mobile phones as well. What makes this kind of battery potentially volatile is the high energy density of the batteries. The amount of power in each battery is large compared to its size and that makes them ideal for electric cars. But, if the small Li-ion batteries in phones are dangerous, how much more dangerous is the huge battery array in a car.
PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE
Akkurate from Finland are offering a solution in particular in relation to Li-Ion batteries.
And, their Diagnose product offers a suite of facilities including things such as real-time monitoring, better battery performance and centralized surveillance but chief among these is their focus on improved safety.
Diagnose is able to help to improve safety in two ways. Firstly, it helps monitor that the batteries are operating in safe conditions and send out an alert if those limits are exceeded. It has a proprietary method to detect the onset of internal short circuits early on so appropriate action can be taken. This patented solution has undergone numerous tests on battery cells in the Akkurate laboratory in Finland.
The second way Diagnose helps safety is through their Increased Value and Readiness for a Second Life offering. With this service, they offer full battery status and using historical data they can help identify suitable cells for a second life application. This means that the batteries don’t need to be transported for separate evaluation as you know that we have verified them as safe.
If you are running an electric fleet, have an ESS or for anything else battery related, get in touch for a confidential discussion to talk about your requirements.