Cruisers Forum
 


Reply
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on Cruisers Forums. Advertise Here
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 20-05-2021, 07:50   #1
CF Adviser
 
Pelagic's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2007
Boat: Van Helleman Schooner 65ft StarGazer
Posts: 9,833
Fire Fighting and Lithium

I would like to clarify best fire fighting practices on board when you have Lithium Batteries on fire from whatever reason.

Some have recomended Class D extinguishers, but this article says otherwise

Some say a bucket of sand is effective.


https://www.airseacontainers.com/blo...-battery-fire/

This is NOT a discussion about the merits of Lithium ... and assumes you have a proper instalation of a quality product
Pelagic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-05-2021, 12:50   #2
Senior Cruiser
 
StuM's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Port Moresby,Papua New Guinea
Boat: FP Belize Maestro 43 and OPBs
Posts: 11,731
Re: Fire Fighting and Lithium

> assumes you have a proper instalation of a quality product



You should probably distinguish between LiFePO4 batteries installed on a boat versus the sort of "Llithium ion" batteries that article is apparently talking about ( phone batteries etc).
StuM is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 20-05-2021, 12:52   #3
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: Rochester, NY
Boat: Chris Craft Catalina 381
Posts: 2,231
Re: Fire Fighting and Lithium

I'm not sure if this applies to LiFePO4, but for Li Ion, tons of water is often a viable solution. The idea being to cool the battery enough to stop the runaway reaction.
rslifkin is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 20-05-2021, 16:04   #4
Moderator
 
JPA Cate's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: aboard, cruising in Australia
Boat: Sayer 46' Solent rig sloop
Posts: 21,902
Re: Fire Fighting and Lithium

Pelagic, Montanan wrote quite a lengthy post about fighting smaller lithium battery fires, maybe a Custom Google search would unearth it for you.....

Ann
__________________
Who scorns the calm has forgotten the storm.
JPA Cate is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-05-2021, 16:31   #5
Registered User
 
GRIT's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: North Atlantic Ocean.
Boat: 15 metre Catamaran
Posts: 1,258
Images: 2
Re: Fire Fighting and Lithium

Quote:
Originally Posted by rslifkin View Post
I'm not sure if this applies to LiFePO4, but for Li Ion, tons of water is often a viable solution. The idea being to cool the battery enough to stop the runaway reaction.
I read the same thing, and based my battery box on the theory that a runaway situation would be remedied by water. So I built the box water tight.

Cheers.
Paul.
__________________
If you can dream it; with grit, you can do it.
GRIT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-05-2021, 19:16   #6
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 1,079
Re: Fire Fighting and Lithium

Quote:
Originally Posted by GRIT View Post
I read the same thing, and based my battery box on the theory that a runaway situation would be remedied by water. So I built the box water tight.

Cheers.
Paul.
Have you done the math on the kJ required to boil the amount of water your battery box can hold vs the kJ in your fully charged battery? I think you may be surprised. And if you had ideas about refilling the box, can you do so without getting burned by the steam pouring off the battery?

If you've got the equivalent of a starting battery, probably not a big deal. If you've got a 5 kwh bank, then it probably requires a bit more thought about the amount of energy that's actually stored all potentially being released In a very short period of time.
redneckrob is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 20-05-2021, 19:34   #7
Registered User
 
GRIT's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: North Atlantic Ocean.
Boat: 15 metre Catamaran
Posts: 1,258
Images: 2
Re: Fire Fighting and Lithium

No, I have not. The battery box fits as tight as I could get it. Adding water is strictly to help cool down a cell, if one somehow shorts out. If the whole thing is shorting out, then there's no stopping it.

We have a 9kw battery, and if it starts overheating, and the BMS doesn't catch it, or it's an internal short in one cell, then all I can do is hope is that I don't have a cascading failure affecting all cells at once.

The "load" side is protected by a 400 amp fuse, which is just over 0.55C, so the load or a short in the load side isn't going to cause an overheat. So I'm left with an internal short, or someone drops a wrench and causes a short. The lid would have to be off for that.

I don't have a cure for every possible failure, but I haven't seen any one else's box take this sort of failure into account, so I think I'm a half step ahead of most installations. It's not much, but it may be enough.... or not.

Cheers.
Paul.
__________________
If you can dream it; with grit, you can do it.
GRIT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-05-2021, 20:06   #8
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2020
Posts: 103
Re: Fire Fighting and Lithium

You won’t be able to get close enough, in most cases, without respiratory protection to continuously apply enough water. Fluorine gas is some of the basest stuff out there. Once they start they don’t stop until done. Prevention is the key. You couldn’t carry enough properly rated extinguishers. Your best bet is to abandon the boat and wait and see what happens.
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-09784-z
MikeHoncho is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-05-2021, 07:53   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 1,079
Re: Fire Fighting and Lithium

Quote:
Originally Posted by GRIT View Post
No, I have not. The battery box fits as tight as I could get it. Adding water is strictly to help cool down a cell, if one somehow shorts out. If the whole thing is shorting out, then there's no stopping it.

We have a 9kw battery, and if it starts overheating, and the BMS doesn't catch it, or it's an internal short in one cell, then all I can do is hope is that I don't have a cascading failure affecting all cells at once.

The "load" side is protected by a 400 amp fuse, which is just over 0.55C, so the load or a short in the load side isn't going to cause an overheat. So I'm left with an internal short, or someone drops a wrench and causes a short. The lid would have to be off for that.

I don't have a cure for every possible failure, but I haven't seen any one else's box take this sort of failure into account, so I think I'm a half step ahead of most installations. It's not much, but it may be enough.... or not.

Cheers.
Paul.
I'm thinking a box that is watertight on all 4 sides from the hull to a point above the waterline, with nothing solid below the battery to divert it from a straight down path in it's attempt to reach the center of the earth? Then the ocean is the cooling agent, and while you have a hole in your boat the size and shape of the battery, at least it's not sinking?
redneckrob is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 21-05-2021, 07:57   #10
Registered User
 
AKA-None's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Lake City MN
Boat: C&C 27 Mk III
Posts: 1,483
Re: Fire Fighting and Lithium

Quote:
Originally Posted by redneckrob View Post
I'm thinking a box that is watertight on all 4 sides from the hull to a point above the waterline, with nothing solid below the battery to divert it from a straight down path in it's attempt to reach the center of the earth? Then the ocean is the cooling agent, and while you have a hole in your boat the size and shape of the battery, at least it's not sinking?


So basically dump the core, sounds like something from a science fiction story but an interesting idea
__________________
Special knowledge can be a terrible disadvantage if it leads you too far along a path that you cannot explain anymore.
Frank Herbert 'Dune'
AKA-None is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-05-2021, 08:05   #11
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2021
Posts: 295
Re: Fire Fighting and Lithium

Jettison is the best method. But, if it’s already burning, that option is pretty much out.

You need a way to flow a ton of water through the battery bank...but without turning it into a pressure vessel when water flashes to steam. Or sinking your boat.

We’ve been trained on how to fight EV battery fires, and step 1 is to get on a hydrant because it requires many many thousands of gallons of water.
C420sailor is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 21-05-2021, 08:10   #12
Registered User
 
GRIT's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: North Atlantic Ocean.
Boat: 15 metre Catamaran
Posts: 1,258
Images: 2
Re: Fire Fighting and Lithium

Actually RedneckRob, that's not too far fetched.

I've got the box mounted on the bridge deck. Though the core and epoxy might melt, I doubt the glass would. I wouldn't be able to cut the box out, since it's against a bulkhead. But I like your train of thought.

Cheers.
Paul.
__________________
If you can dream it; with grit, you can do it.
GRIT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-05-2021, 09:43   #13
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2019
Posts: 42
Re: Fire Fighting and Lithium

Quote:
Originally Posted by C420sailor View Post
Weve been trained on how to fight EV battery fires, and step 1 is to get on a hydrant because it requires many many thousands of gallons of water.
But that's a VERY different kind of lithium battery. AFAIK: no EVs use Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4) which don't have anywhere the same danger of fire. EVs and cell phones use: LiCoO2 and LiMnNi, etc. LiFePO4 cells are heavier and much less energy dense which is why they aren't used in cars or cell phones.


You'll find lots of matches for "LiFePO4 fire danger" but here's an authoritative one from the FAA!
https://www.fire.tc.faa.gov/pdf/TC-16-17.pdf with quotes that follow.

"The average temperature rise of all of the LiFePO4 cells was 122C, whereas the average temperature rise of the LiCoO2 and LiMnNi cells were 372.75C and 552C"

"Thermal runaway of the LiFePO4 cell did not propagate to any of the cells beyond the initial one that was in direct contact with the heater."

"In general, of all of the lithium-ion cells that were tested, LiFePO4 would be considered the safest cathode material because of the relatively low temperature rise and the resulting low likelihood for thermal runaway to propagate. LiCoO2 and LiMnNi would be considered the most hazardous because of the relatively large temperature rise and high probability for propagation of thermal runaway to adjacent battery cells."


Never refer to lithium batteries as just lithium--specify which breed you are talking about.

Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries are not dangerous if they're fused! Just as all dogs are not dangerous just because Pit Bulls can be.

Search on "LiFePO4 fire danger" and read at least half a dozen articles.

I'm much more afraid of my cell phone than a large properly fused LiFePO4 battery bank.
ikanode is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-05-2021, 09:45   #14
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: New York, New York
Boat: Dufour Safari 27'
Posts: 1,768
Re: Fire Fighting and Lithium

Quote:
Originally Posted by StuM View Post
> assumes you have a proper instalation of a quality product

You should probably distinguish between LiFePO4 batteries installed on a boat versus the sort of "Llithium ion" batteries that article is apparently talking about ( phone batteries etc).
For batteries the article is talking about, there are various bags designed to contain lithium battery fires which occur during charging. This link is just one of many, and they range in price. I've seen around $12 U.S. to $40.U.S.
https://www.amazon.com/Fireproof-Bat.../dp/B00B5PXWP4

The theory is to contain the fire before is spreads.
ArmyDaveNY is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-05-2021, 10:44   #15
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: North East USA
Boat: 1975 Tartan 41'
Posts: 812
Re: Fire Fighting and Lithium

why not plumb a waterline tube to the watertight battery box and have a shutoff valve several feet/meters away? that at least keeps the person away from the fire. Or use one of those melt-away valves in sprinkler systems so it will automatically fill the box with water in case of fire.
zstine is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Fire Fighting thinwater Health, Safety & Related Gear 36 16-01-2017 18:28
New fighting fire product Rustic Charm Product or Service Reviews & Evaluations 39 22-07-2015 00:40
Wife + Holding Tank = Fighting With Me unbusted67 Plumbing Systems and Fixtures 40 05-08-2012 16:53
Alcohol Stoves and Fighting Fires gmalan The Sailor's Confessional 41 06-02-2009 11:53

Advertise Here


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 07:43.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.