From Holland comes one of the most effective methods for extinguishing electric cars without large amounts of water: this is how FireIsolator works
Readers who have been following us for some time know that we have carried out the first mega survey in Italy on the safety of electric cars. A work that brought us among the speakers of the first national conference on the safety of lithium batteries and we discovered that there are several experiences and solutions to counter the increased risk introduced by lithium batteries, which currently remains and should not be underestimated. This article is part of a special on the extinction of lithium batteries that we wanted to create to talk about this problem from another angle, telling you the different solutions currently on the market. One of them is the so-called fire blanket, which, together with other elements, is part of the FireIsolator method, the solution developed for rescuers, car transporters, workshops and all the most critical places where it is a priority to contain an electric vehicle fire in a short time. Fire blankets are a very common solution even at home: they smother the fire by preventing it from feeding on oxygen. But what makes the difference is:
- there temperature maximum resistance to flame retardant fabric;
- THE size fire to control;
- THE place where the flames burst.
These are the main reasons why fire blanket alone is not effective if the fire has already affected the high voltage battery. If an electric car battery catches fire, the cells will continue to burn in an exothermic chain reaction, producing toxic gases. The risk is that as soon as the covering effect of the fabric fails, the enormous amount of energy, which is only “compressed”, takes over. It is from these considerations that T-ISScompany specializing in the production of maritime safety devices, FireIsolator developed and tested. In the next paragraphs we will see in detail how it works.
FIRE ISOLATOR: HOW THE METHOD TO EXTINGUISH ELECTRIC CARS WORKS
The fire of the Felicity Ace carrying around 4,000 electric cars from the Volkswagen group is the emblematic case of a priority which does not however only concern the maritime transport of electric vehicles. FireIsolator is In fact a technique based on the synergy of several elements as currently tested solution control the fire of an electric car. In tests carried out with the support of Dutch, Danish, Korean and Taiwanese firefighters, the company demonstrated in real life tests how the combination of different extinguishing methods gives the best results for extinguishing an electric car on a boat or in a car park . FireIsolator allows the simultaneous use of:
- A fire blanket resistant to high temperatures;
- a lance water mist (water mist) which produces very small drops of water;
- encapsulation aerosol which interrupts the chemical reactions occurring in the flames helping to increase the effectiveness of the thermal blanket;
- thermal imager for temperature monitoring during and after the fire;
- coaching suitable for managing and stopping vehicles equipped with lithium batteries
Explain where the development of FireIsolator came from Jean-Pierre VerheuvelTISS Marketing Manager. “Everyone knows the problem when a car with a lithium-ion battery burns out: it can’t be extinguished easily. The only way to really put out the fire is to submerge the car under water and cool it down.”. “That’s not possible on a ferry, in a parking lot or on a busy street. That’s why we created FireIsolatorThis it is intended to isolate the fire and control it until the ferry reaches a port. Or in the event of an electric vehicle fire in a parking lot, until the car can be safely removed and submerged in a container of water.” Here are the steps involved in the FireIsolator method also shown in the tests carried out with firefighters of the Berdeskab Fire Training Center in Denmark in March 2022 in the video below.
PHASE 1: FIRE EXTINGUISHING COVER
Firefighters working on the burning electric car begin to cover the car with the high temperature blanket VR0906Licertified flame retardant according to ASTM D6413 and ISO EN 13501-1 standards. This cover has been specially developed for electric car lights, as it withstands maximum temperatures of 1600°C or continuous exposure to temperatures of 1100°C. It’s a reusable cover up to 6-7 times, depending on the company, just wash it and put it back in its case. FireIsolator Blanket can also be applied to vehicles in close proximity to fire to prevent heat damage.
PHASE 2: FIRE INSULATION ENCAPSULATING AEROSOL
After applying the fire blanket, personnel operate inside the car and under the blanket a low pressure extinguishing device. It is an aerosol based on solid microparticles that replace oxygen in the space between the car and the fire blanket. Unlike extinguishers known as Halon (halogenated organic compounds containing bromine, fluorine and sometimes chlorine atoms), this solution is more environmentally friendly, removing the energy from the flames without using large amounts of water, which instead leads to the inconvenience of collection and disposal. or removal from the fire site. “In lithium battery car fires, we have successfully extinguished the flames until the temperature dropped to 200-300°C”explains Verheuvel.
STEP 3: FIGHT AGAINST TOXIC GASES WITH A WATER MIST
The use of the spear it produces water mist helps both to further remove heat with the evaporation of the droplets, both to decompose toxic gases coming out of the fire blanket. Unlike conventional extinguishing methods which involve the use of water directly on the battery to cool it, in this case the supply of water is mainly used to seal the fire blanket on the car. The company explains that through cooperation with firefighters in South Korea and Taiwan, the method has been further refined. “Spraying the water mist on the cover already before the aerosol units are activated increases the sealing effect of the cover and the effectiveness of the extinguishing aerosol”explains Verheuvel. “We received this feedback from the Korean and Taiwanese firefighters who carried out the tests and this method has become a good practice”.
PHASE 4: SURVEILLANCE WITH INFRARED THERMAL CAMERA
Using a thermal imager it is essential in the early stages of extinguishing the fire as it helps to control the progress of the fire and locate the hottest points in the car. If, after the flames are extinguished, the temperature should increase, further aerosol charges will be used inside the car covered by the FireIsolator sheet, continuing to monitor.
“With the FireIsolator, we have made it easier to manage fires involving Li-ion batteries! There is a lot of interest from various sectors, mainly firefighters, fire safety companies and car transporters. he stated Verheuvel. A solution that will also help transport companies to provide specific fire services, rather than banning electric cars, as on Havila ships.
Source : Sicur Auto