DAFO VEHICLE INTRODUCING LI-IONFIRE
In order to increase the safety of electric and hybrid electric vehicle operations Dafo Vehicle Fire Protection is presenting “Li-IonFire”. With electric or hybrid vehicles (EV and HEV) there are new fire risks. Dafo sees serious consequences connected to risks of Li-ion batteries, in case of a malfunction. It can result in toxic gas emissions or explosion. In collaboration with the coordinator, Dafo Vehicle Fire Protection, an EU initiative, has built a fire protection system that addresses and mitigates these risks effectively and safely.
Fire suppression systems for vehicles are tested to be effective on vehicles with combustion engines, and all test standards are designed with this in mind. The growth of the electric and hybrid electric vehicle industry has accelerated the demand for new fire suppression technologies. “With the rapid introduction of electric and hybrid electric vehicles in public transport, there are new challenges because they present totally different risk scenarios”, says Anders Gulliksson of Dafo Vehicle, coordinator of the EU-funded Li-IonFire (Automated e-vehicle Lithium Ion Battery Early Warning and Fire Suppression System) project.
The project partners, including Dafo Vehicle Fire Protection and RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, studied the various fire risks related to battery spaces, including specific risks when charging, and procedures for handling electric vehicles and batteries after a crash. They also investigated to what extent fixed and integrated fire suppression systems, which are widely used to protect engine compartments on heavy vehicles, can be applied to vehicles powered by Li-ion batteries, and how they should be designed.
Through extensive testing, the Li-IonFire team better understood how a breakdown occurs within the battery and how it can be detected. “If a system is activated at this early stage, the battery can be ‘brought back’ to a safe state, without the fire developing further,” explains Gulliksson.
The project team successfully validated and demonstrated a highly innovative fire protection system for electric and hybrid electric vehicles. The new system provides an early fire warning system, and spot cooling to prevent thermal runaway while localising and suppressing fire. “Li-IonFire delivers to the market a product that didn’t exist until now: a system that can offer real protection against battery fires, using a new suppression agent, Forrex EV, which is specifically developed for these applications and will be available September 1st, 2020,” concludes Gulliksson.