FirePro Lithium Batteries

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FirePro Lithium-Ion Fire Suppression

Over the past few years, we have seen a rise in the demand for lithium-ion batteries as an energy source and storage device for various types of electric equipment. This type of battery may be an attractive option, thanks to its weight and mobility, but they also pose an increased fire hazard.

Conventional fire-extinguishing agents face a number of challengers when combatting a Lithium-ion battery fire. Claims are often made regarding the effectiveness of certain agents in fighting a lithium based fire with no evidence.

FirePro in collaboration with the accredited certification body KIWA has recently completed a thorough range of fire tests involving Lithium-ion batteries. The scope of these tests was to understand Lithium-ion fires as a result of thermal runaway and to evaluate the efficiency of FirePro in controlling and suppressing battery runaway fires.

The results of these test indicate that FirePro – which comprises micro-sized potassium salts suspended in a blend of inert gases – suppresses the fire by inhibiting the combustion chemical chain reactions and inerting the explosive atmosphere created, thus preventing re-ignition. As a result of this action, the temperature falls below the critical point necessary to sustain the thermal runaway sequence.

Why choose FirePro?

Very Small Footprint – Compact – Easily Fitted In challenging Areas
Lightweight – Up to 60% less weight than pressurised gas systems
No pipework required
Lower cost of ownership than pressurised systems
No re-filling requirements
Modular – Installed inside the enclosure it protects
Manually or automatically activated
Suitable for classes of fire: A, B, C, F, D
Simple to design
Easy to Inspect & Maintain
Regulated by Local & International Standards
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Case Study Kokam

Dealer: Fire Safety Equipment Australia
Application: Electrical Rooms
Industry: Renewable Energy

Kokam Co. is a global leader in the design and manufacturing of rechargeable battery solutions. It currently holds over 150 patent listings and it was the first company to develop high capacity lithium-ion polymer batteries worldwide. With the rise of grid-connected renewable energy sources, Kokam’s Energy Storage Systems have been recognised as the most effective solution.

The Task
Design, supply, install and maintain tailor-made fire detection and suppression systems for the high voltage energy storage Power Conversion Systems (PCS) and Energy Storage Systems (ESS). PCS are electric power conversion systems located inside 40-foot mobile containers which can convert and/or distribute the surplus from similar size Energy Storage Systems (ESS) enclosures. The fire protection systems must be compact, reliable, long lasting and efficient. They must also be able to protect dissimilar combustible materials and thus classes of fire. The extinguishing system must be designed according to both local and internationally recognised standards and regulations.

These systems were installed at Newman (W.A.) and Ballarat(Vic).

Results & Implementation
FirePro total flooding fire suppression systems installed in both Power Conversion Systems (PCS) and Energy Storage Systems (ESS) to protect mission critical high-voltage electrical equipment offer peace of mind to operators in case of a fire emergency. With no piping required and no pressurised cylinders the systems were easily and quickly installed to protect the at-the-cutting-edge-of- technology Kokam equipment without posing a threat to personnel or the environment. In short FirePro then, has effectively reduced operational hazards and financial losses due to down times for all stakeholders.

Why FirePro?
The modularity and compactness of the FirePro fire extinguishing system were two of the decisive factors in its selection for the protection of the equipment within the 40-foot container enclosures. Also pivotal in equal measure of importance for the selection process were firstly the ability of the FirePro system to tackle A, B, C, F classes of fire – since the PCS equipment is different in nature to the ESS banks of D/C LiPo batteries and A/C power grid – and secondly the minimal maintenance costs required over its long lifetime. Lastly and completing the FP system’s contract clinching attributes were its UL listing its environmentally friendly nature.

Risks Involved & Consequences
The demand for electricity along with the need to stabilise power grids and the efficient use of renewable energy sources are ever increasing. Inevitably there is, in tandem, an increase in fire risks originating in electrical equipment due to some form of malfunctioning; this fact is corroborated by statistical data showing that besides human error electrical malfunctions are amongst the most common causes of fire. Failure to adequately protect against fire in these situations can cause serious damage and have dire consequences.

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Case Study Samsung SDI

Dealer: FirePro Korea
Application: Electrical Rooms
Industry: Renewable Energy

Samsung SDI Co. is a Korean multinational technology corporation. Samsung SDI operates through its Chemical, Electronic Materials and Energy segments while it thrives as one of the world’s largest manufactures of lithium-ion batteries. Samsung SDI’s Energy Storage Systems use differentiated design technology and innovate lithium-ion batteries for cutting-edge electric vehicles such as the BMW i3. Samsung SDI is listed in Forbes Global 2000 – Worlds Biggest Public Companies.

Risks & Consequences
Samsung SDI’s technology offers on-demand power management, power dispatch and renewable energy smoothing for various applications including commercial and utility organizations. Because of all the sensitive equipment, even a small fire can escalate rapidly and have catastrophic consequences for the equipment and end-client operations. It’s thus imperative that the enclosures are protected from fire episodes with dependable and autonomous fire suppression systems. Possible accidents will cause collateral damages and might even claim human lives. Traditional fire protection systems can cause further damages to goods and thus continuity cannot be warranted.

The Task
Design, supply, install and maintain bespoke automatic fire suppression systems for Samsung SDI’s Energy Storage Systems (ESS) enclosed within standardized intermodal containers. The fire protection systems are commissioned to be compact, durable and dependable. They must have a long life span and be highly efficient and effective. These parameters must be met while remaining environmentally friendly. They must also be able to protect dissimilar materials and consequently various classes of fire. The extinguishing system must be designed according to both local and internationally recognized standards and regulations.

Why FirePro?
The ESS enclosures are not airtight thus gaseous based systems would have had leakage concerns. Furthermore, the inner space is fully utilised thus large equipment (such as pressurised cylinders) are impractical. Samsung SDI’s ESS containers are frequently placed in remote locations as they are designed to work without much attendance. The modularity, compactness and autonomy of the system were favourable factors in the selection process. Also, FirePro technology can tackle A, B, C, F classes of fire while it requires minimum maintenance and a 15 year lifetime. FirePro’s environmentally friendly nature and compliance to both local and international standards were also favourable considerations.

Results of Implementation
Samsung SDI proceeded to implement the FirePro fire suppression solution since it combined all the operational, environmental and technical considerations required for the ESS containers. FirePro Korea personnel designed and completed the installation of the FirePro system and fire extinguishing units within a predetermined time frame. FirePro systems currently protect these assets and offer protection against various fire scenarios.