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Old 07-11-2013, 14:20   #31
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Re: Lithium Batteries /vs/ Fire safety?

Quote:
Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
The post by EVM1024 is entirely misleading, and makes no citable references and one real case of the 787 fire. Its lumps all Li technology in together.

LI, is in common use, in phones, drills, laptops etc. Its a safer technology once engineering right (like a lot of things) , within the Li family there are many tech variants and some like LIFE, have very safe characteristics, arguable much safer then LA batteries.



Dave

Sorry Dave,

I only quoted an article and I am not the author.

Oh, and by the way you assert:

Its a safer technology once engineering right (like a lot of things) , within the Li family there are many tech variants and some like LIFE, have very safe characteristics, arguable much safer then LA batteries.

But fail to include any citeable references to those assertions.


If I were playing games with words I would read your words to say that lithium technology will be safer once is engineered right (and thus not safe yet).

But I think that we can have a better discussion than that....


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Old 07-11-2013, 15:12   #32
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Re: Lithium Batteries /vs/ Fire safety?

There are issues with the use of the materials used to make some LIFEPO4 cells that will contribute to keeping a fire going if one gets started. The fires that I have investigated has always involved charging (cells taken too low?) or shorted wires. The use of enclosures that can hold temps of 800 Degs C can be made from light weight materials from Basalt which appears to be one answer to the containment of a fire. The other is ensuring the charge source is removed once the designed charge level is reached. If the use is kept within the designed limits of this type of cell, then it is safe. The LIFEPO4 starting batteries are working OK on my boat but some issues have shown up that needed to be looked at due to the low internal resistance loading the standard alternators on startup with my small Yanmars. House batteries are lead & will be replaced with LIFEPO4 when they die.

(I believe the Boeing B787 is a good wakeup call on how to not rush in to believe you know it all.)

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Old 07-11-2013, 16:06   #33
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Re: Lithium Batteries /vs/ Fire safety?

Quote:
Originally Posted by evm1024 View Post
I don't think that the OP has to prove anything or supply anything. If you think that LiFePO4 is safe then prove it. Don't demand that the OP prove they are unsafe. It sounds like LiFePO4 are quite safe to me and showing that this it true should be "easy".

A quick look at google gives lots of into. OF course all can be refuted - it is just the internet. And that is the problem with proving anything....

from Re: LiFePO4 & Fires..???? at LiFePO4 & Fires..???? - DIY Electric Car Forums

---
Fire? Not exactly. More like explosions and or lots of white smoke. But not actually flames.

I have seen it happening, and I have seen the results after the fact. In all cases, it was due to abuse of the battery. Some examples.
  • Shorted the 2 battery output cables during manufacture (seen it twice)
  • Two shorts to chassis, completing the circuit (seen it once)
  • Loose battery connection, arching, nearby combustible materials catch on fire, heat pops the LiFePO4 cells (seen it once)
  • Outboard charger left on overnight, no BMS control (seen it once)
  • Boat captain connecting over-discharged and damaged Li-ion batteries in parallel to fully charged ones (seen it once)
  • On purpose, for testing
---
It would be nice if any discussion on the merits and risks of LiFePO4 were reasonable and rational. LiFePO4 zealots need post humbly.
So fire without flames is or is not a fire?
All of the problems you have seen are engineering faults aren't they and could have had the same or worse results with AGM or FLA batteries?
Explosions are a problem no matter what the cause but the only video clip "test" I have seen on a LiFePo4 cell doesn't actually show the explosion, just the claimed before and after.
At least the surrounding area wasn't sprayed with sulphuric acid.
I'm all for rational and reasonable discussion, if the party of the first part makes assertions contrary to the party of the second parts accepted knowledge base the onus of proof is on the party of the first part.
FWIW, a zealot is incapable of rational and reasonable fact based discussion or argument, they are by accepted definition, faith based.
I know of no "LifePo4" zealots on CF.
There are a many confirmed users here but all that I know of have approached the LiFePo4 technology very carefully and in a very considered manner.
I suggest that those who wish to debate any issues with LiFePo4 do so with same informed knowledge base and preparation.
The following threads contain the results of much research and first hand reports by many members, quite a few are professionally qualified marine electricians, electrical engineers, electricians and very meticulous 'talented amateurs'.
This body of work has been presented and challenged, is ongoing, has been published and is freely available.
If any party is unprepared, disinclined or too lazy to read through it, to inform themselves and frame lucid questions why should those who have participated in it continually repeat what is already there?
Lithium Batteries (for the rest of us)
and
LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks
re. references in general:
Why should exact references be provided when they are there as the basis of our "common knowledge".
One should also be aware that in academia or law one doesn't have to cite references to that which is accepted as proved already, why here?
Cheers,
Mac
Edit: IIRC, the OP stated that there is "no way these batteries can be used safely on boats" [paraphrased]
The OP did not attempt to substantiate this claim in any way.
Do you think in face of that blind assertion I or we should not ask for an evidential basis when so many here are using them quite safely and successfully?
Mac
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Old 07-11-2013, 16:32   #34
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Re: Lithium Batteries /vs/ Fire safety?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wraith_Mac View Post
So fire without flames is or is not a fire?
Is. Fire is a chemical change that produces heat and light, so doesn't necessarily have flames. Coal burning is an example. So is a filament lightbulb.

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Old 07-11-2013, 17:12   #35
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Re: Lithium Batteries /vs/ Fire safety?

I guess it happens a bit with cell phones. They say to not talk on them while charging. So as long as you're not aboard while charging you should be safe!
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Old 07-11-2013, 17:18   #36
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Re: Lithium Batteries /vs/ Fire safety?

Re. Boeing engineering in general and 787 aircraft batteries.
Too many times IMO, 'lithium' battery use gets associated with the Boeing 787 and its 'battery' problems get conflated with LiFePo4 use so I thought I should post something for others to reference to at least inform

them, somewhat, of the 787 situation.
There are many more engineering/wiring problems on the 787 than a simple "the battery dunnit" can explain, yet the only reference some people make is to the batteries, which by the way do not live at -60C nor

suffer ant undue hardships.
Use the links to see how many problems are related to engineering design, by Boeing engineers I presume.
The most damaging fire was actually caused by another lithium mix...Lithium manganese, also not used on boats.
Also in the links is an Airbus statement that using heavier NiCad costs the weight equivalent of one adult passenger [of 350] per flight.

Attempt to hush up new Qatar 787 fire fails | Plane Talking

Dreamliner nightmare continues for Boeing as Qatar Airways pulls plane out of service 'after smoke reported near electrical compartment' | Mail Online
"PAST PROBLEMS: THE BOEING 787 DREAMLINER'S NIGHTMARE

July 28 2012: A fan shaft fails during runway tests in South Carolina

December 2012: A Dreamliner was forced to make an emergency landing in New Orleans

January 7 2013: An unoccupied Dreamliner flight bursts into flames at Boston airport

January 15 2013: A flight made an emergency landing in Japan after a smoke alarm went off. The string of incidents led to regulators ordering a global grounding of the entire Dreamliner fleet, which lasted for four

months

June 2 2013: Battery-related problems were reported on a Japan Airlines aircraft forcing the airline to use an alternative plane

June 12 2013: A flight in Japan was cancelled after one of the engines failed to start

June 18 2013: A United Airlines flight was diverted to Seattle due to an oil-filter problem

June 24 2013: A Dreamliner operated by United Airlines had to make an emergency landing in Denver due to a brake problem

July 3 2013: Polish airline LOT cancelled a Dreamliner flight to Chicago because the aircraft had ‘problems with the power supply'

July 12 2013: Ethiopian Airlines plane catches fire on the runway at Heathrow, forcing the closure of the whole airport

July 18 2013: Japan Airlines plane bound for Tokyo had to return to Boston's Logan airport after take-off because of a possible issue with the fuel pumps



Investigators say fire on Boeing 787 Dreamliner at Heathrow not caused by batteries | News.com.au
A UK government body investigating a fire on an empty Boeing 787 at Heathrow Airport says there is no evidence it was caused by faulty batteries.

A global grounding order on the Dreamliner was issued in January after lithium-ion batteries overheated on two different jets, with one of them catching fire while the aircraft was parked.

Boeing has not been able to identify the root cause of the problems - a source of major embarrassment to the company - but said its modifications would prevent the problems reoccurring.

Boeing Switches To Repair Mode After 787 Fire
n its July 18 report, the AAIB says the fire caused “significant thermal effects on aircraft insulation and structure. Surveying and detailed examinations of the damaged areas revealed that the greatest heat damage

and highest temperatures were centered on the rear fuselage close to the crown and displaced to the left of the aircraft centerline.” It also confirms that the source of the fire coincides with the location of the

aircraft's aft Honeywell emergency locator transmitter (ELT), which is mounted internally on structure close to the skin.

Boeing 787 Dreamliner hits problems after launch | The Verge

http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/23...on-English.pdf
[From Boeing, note the logic applied and draw you own conclusions, to come to their conclusions listed below, note how many engineering hours where spent]]

Copyright 2013 Boeing. All rights reserved.
Facts About Battery Events

The only possible cause for thermal runaway at an airplane level is overcharging.

The 787 has four independent protections against overcharging

Following detailed review no evidence of overcharging was found in either event.

Too many more to list, just Google "787 fire" and spend a day or so reading.
Cheers,
Mac
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Old 07-11-2013, 17:24   #37
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Re: Lithium Batteries /vs/ Fire safety?

Quote:
Originally Posted by colemj View Post
Is. Fire is a chemical change that produces heat and light, so doesn't necessarily have flames. Coal burning is an example. So is a filament lightbulb.

Mark
Mark, I don't like arguing with scientists or lawyers, they already have an answer prepared!
So I'm not going to be pedantic on technical definitions but I can see flames when coal burns and one can, though not with with the naked eye, see a filament burning it's way to destruction.
However, as much as I usually agree with your posts, I must rush away to check on that claim.
It's the nature of a non-zealot you see!
Cheers,
Mac
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fire
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Old 07-11-2013, 17:28   #38
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So a tungsten filament heated by an electric current in a Vacuum, is on fire? Clearly I don't understand what fire is
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Old 07-11-2013, 18:17   #39
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Re: Lithium Batteries /vs/ Fire safety?

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
So a tungsten filament heated by an electric current in a Vacuum, is on fire? Clearly I don't understand what fire is
I believe and I certainly could be wrong, that it's a [very] near vacuum at best in the old fashioned bulbs but fire can occur in a vacuum when an oxidizing agent is present with the combustible fuel and an ignition source is provided.
There's so many different technologies now in even light bulbs so I'm bound to wrong somewhere.
So, I'm wrong about Tungsten/argon pressurised filaments, but not about carbon?
http://home.howstuffworks.com/light-bulb2.htm
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Old 07-11-2013, 18:25   #40
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Re: Lithium Batteries /vs/ Fire safety?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wraith_Mac View Post
So fire without flames is or is not a fire?
All of the problems you have seen are engineering faults aren't they and could have had the same or worse results with AGM or FLA batteries?
Explosions are a problem no matter what the cause but the only video clip "test" I have seen on a LiFePo4 cell doesn't actually show the explosion, just the claimed before and after.
At least the surrounding area wasn't sprayed with sulphuric acid.
I'm all for rational and reasonable discussion, if the party of the first part makes assertions contrary to the party of the second parts accepted knowledge base the onus of proof is on the party of the first part.
FWIW, a zealot is incapable of rational and reasonable fact based discussion or argument, they are by accepted definition, faith based.
I know of no "LifePo4" zealots on CF.
There are a many confirmed users here but all that I know of have approached the LiFePo4 technology very carefully and in a very considered manner.
I suggest that those who wish to debate any issues with LiFePo4 do so with same informed knowledge base and preparation.
The following threads contain the results of much research and first hand reports by many members, quite a few are professionally qualified marine electricians, electrical engineers, electricians and very meticulous 'talented amateurs'.
This body of work has been presented and challenged, is ongoing, has been published and is freely available.
If any party is unprepared, disinclined or too lazy to read through it, to inform themselves and frame lucid questions why should those who have participated in it continually repeat what is already there?
Lithium Batteries (for the rest of us)
and
LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks
re. references in general:
Why should exact references be provided when they are there as the basis of our "common knowledge".
One should also be aware that in academia or law one doesn't have to cite references to that which is accepted as proved already, why here?
Cheers,
Mac
Edit: IIRC, the OP stated that there is "no way these batteries can be used safely on boats" [paraphrased]
The OP did not attempt to substantiate this claim in any way.
Do you think in face of that blind assertion I or we should not ask for an evidential basis when so many here are using them quite safely and successfully?
Mac

I'm liking your posts the more I read them. Maine Sail and T1 Terry have a lot of tests and observations under their belts and have shared here. As to this thread, I think it is a bit of trolling with the provocative title of Lithium Batteries /vs/ Fire safety?, but to attempt to answer the OP, LiFePO4 are a stable chemistry and the only increase in a possible fire is one of the reasons they are such a robust battery for our usage, they can crank out the amps holding a stable voltage. For the fire purists, yes a shorted LiFePO4 bank will crank out more watts (heat) to melt and ignite cables, connectors, etc., than a lead acid battery. But unlike a LA, won't explode and blow acid in a shorted state.

This is the only scenario I'll grant a higher fire hazard for LiFePO4 vs lead, and would only be applicable with a shade tree installation that didn't employ a main fuse and other normally accepted circuit disconnects. Lets use a small bank for easy numbers, 12 volt, 100 a-hr, for both the lead and lithium bank. On a dead short when you combine both the Peukert effect and voltage sag of the LA bank, it is obvious the LiFePO4 bank will generate 5 times the wattage to melt things and possible combustion of cable insulation.

That is why you fuse and place a protective cover over your LiFePO4 cells to keep you from dropping a wrench across the terminals.

Case in point.....(momentary accidental contact of alligator clip's screw with cell terminal bolt, voltage of just one cell)
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Old 07-11-2013, 19:02   #41
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Re: Lithium Batteries /vs/ Fire safety?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
"If we are discussing boat house banks liFeP04 are the dominant technology. "
Dominant.<G> Is that a way to say, there have only been a dozen installations and the buyers seem to have gone to the one cheapest source? No, really, the market is still so small that I don't think we can place any statistical significance on the current choices. Especially given the flux in chemistries and pricing.

"Is this your interpretation or someone else's?"
Someone else's. There are some papers online that point out the fire problem is because of flammable hydrocarbon electrolyte and flammable plastic membrane. They can't go into specifics because there are different materials in use but the bottom line is whether you call it gasoline or kerosene (which is used to bath electric arc cutting bits to keep a clean arc, even though you'd think lamp fuel wasn't a good thing to surround electric arcs with) the point is, the batteries burn quite furiously once they are lit up. Two manufacturing facilities and a handful of vehicles including large cargo aircraft are on the record. That's not FUD, that's called the damned things are like a slice of the Dresden firestorms.
Your experience may have been "so what?" but I expect the folks at Sony, UPS, and other multi-million dollar losses would say things can go far worse than you've seen. FAA, DOT, UN, generally have some experience with hazmat procedures and they all still agree that they haven't figured out any surefire responses. No pun intended.

"The existing electrical issues on existing boats far eclipses"
Maine, look on the bright side. Thirty years ago the phrase "battery primary fuse" was unheard of. Today, at least the manufacturers are aware that this is a good thing. And the ubiquitous "fusible link wire" is banned as a fire hazard.

The OP is not anti-lithium but made a point that there's probably lithium in his future, and he wants to prepare for any potential special risk it brings. Funny how the pro-lithium folks go into a fury about how there's absolutely no risk at all instead of just responding on point with words like "All it needs is you 1A-10BC USCG extinguisher".

Which apparently is not all it needs, since they still require hazmat shipping. Unless the zealots are right, and all the folks who ship these things have an agenda to promote FUD and collect Hazmat fees. "Could be" the OP said with an open mind.<G>

I have no the OP was deliberately confusing the issue and trolling by lumping in all technologies rather than specifically LiFeO4 which seems to be the only chemistry seriously be considered and used by boaters today.

If he was serious why not stick with a fire discussion around LiFeO4.

Perhaps the OP is considering other Li chemistry unlike most here.

So why not fire safety Vs LiFeO4 batteries. Would be interested to hear of his experience specifically with LiFeO4.

Is anyone seriously considering any other Li Chemistry at present? hellosailor !!
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Old 07-11-2013, 21:01   #42
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Re: Lithium Batteries /vs/ Fire safety?

On properties and transport:
There's a convenient table here with data, including a safety rating, on Li, Nm, and LA battery types.
LiFePO4 Batteries

From IATA re. AIR transport of Lithium Batteries, look for the new section 1B, they are class 9, same as dry ice I think. Large cells such as we use are not specifically addressed and appear to be limped in with cellphone batts etc.
In short they cannot be transported on passenger aircraft and LiFePo4 is treated the same as the more unstable types. Transport aircraft can carry them.
IATA - Lithium Battery Regulatory Change
Beyond suitable packaging and labeling there appear to be no restrictions on surface transport. Anywhere.
I have read they will not be sent out more than 50% charged, I have also read they can be, so this may not be a regulatory issue.

The restrictions on the transport of FLA or AGM batteries is also not simple, a fact often overlooked.
Fedex has added its own requirements which appear to be a good money maker and couriers are following suit ie, surcharges.
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Old 08-11-2013, 09:49   #43
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Re: Lithium Batteries /vs/ Fire safety?

a third Tesla electric car burned up yesterday. That's 3 in 3 weeks according to the report. Stock dropped big time yesterday.
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Old 08-11-2013, 10:12   #44
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Re: Lithium Batteries /vs/ Fire safety?

Oh, Mac, you really are confused.
<<Edit: IIRC, the OP stated that there is "no way these batteries can be used safely on boats" [paraphrased]>>
Either I did or didn't state it, it isn't that hard to make sure if you're going to quote someone OR paraphrase them. And in either case, you might look at the context and the whole statement, rather than take snippets of your imagination and then decree them to be accurate facts.
You know very well that the I, the OP, never made any such statement and you know that what I did say in substantially different. This is why I am forced to believe that your recollections and "facts" about batteries are probably equally inaccurate or intentionally in error.
I didn't make that statement, I posited a question, giving the information that I had based it on, and I've posted the additional information that I've found, as I've found it. No thanks to you, because you've contributed nothing here. Quite the contrary, you've created incorrect "facts" time after time to support your own totally unsubstantiated point of view.
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Old 08-11-2013, 10:28   #45
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Re: Lithium Batteries /vs/ Fire safety?

Bob-
"This is the only scenario I'll grant a higher fire hazard for LiFePO4 vs lead,"

As I have found, and posted here since my original enquiry, lithium rechargeable batteries are very different from lithium primary batteries, and that is where some of the confusion comes in. Lithium primary cells can be a true "lithium fire" required Class-D copper extinguishers. Lithium rechargeable batteries apparently do not require that response, something which no one here apparently knew.

And, again, as no one here apparently knew, the problem with ALL lithium rechargeable chemistries, including LiFePO4 (which I never singled out, and which was not part of the original question, no matter how much the zealots here can't get over it) have a very different fire hazard because they are petrochemical fires, hydrocarbon fires, which again will be very different from any battery that uses a water-based electrolyte, as lead acid does.

Adding further to the confusion, the zealots keep talking about battery fires caused by the battery or the battery wiring. NO. I never asked if the battery itself was going to create a fire, did I? The fire can be created elsewhere, and then spread to include the battery spaces and batteries. That's like a simple engine bay fire that spreads to the fuel tank. Once the "fuel tank" is engaged, firefighting becomes a different matter. Same thing with batteries, once a lead acid battery compartment is on fire, you only need to use common extinguishers. But if that's a lithium battery, you may need to use something stronger to knock it down, followed with a water deluge to keep it down. Again, very different. As the pros will tell you, it is easy enough to knock down a fire--but very dangerous to ignore reignition.

I think I've been fairly objective to lay out some valid concerns, followed by the information I've dredged up about them. I'm not out to demonize any battery type. As I said up front, I just want to know IF there's a special risk and IF there's a special response required.

But of course, magically any time anyone asks about lithium rechargeable batteries of any type, everyone has to turn it into a religious argument instead of responding with proven and non-contradictory facts. If LiFePO4 never forms the internal dendrites that puncture the separators that create the internal shorts that ruin every other type of lithium rechargeable cell, that's just great. Remind me again, why is it that no manufacturer of them has made that simple statement? Or did I just miss the memo?

From here, it sounds like a comparably reasonable Class-D "salt" extinguisher would work great for any of the lithium rechargeable batteries. But of course, none of the established testers or handlers has come out with that statement either, so maybe that's also just a waste of time, and the use of Halon 1211 and a water deluge is the best way to go, for good reason.
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