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Avgassing fra litium-ion batterier i hjemmet
RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, Safety and Transport, Fire Technology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3445-8074
RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, Safety and Transport, Fire Technology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4248-8396
RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, Safety and Transport, Fire Technology.
2021 (Norwegian)Report (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This study evaluates venting from lithium-ion batteries in homes and is commissioned by the Norwegian Directorate for Civil Protection (DSB) and the Norwegian Building Authority (DiBK). The main objective is to study the extent to which venting from a battery in a dwelling can pose a risk for people, focusing on the consequences associated with venting. The Norwegian fire statistics database BRIS was used to identify relevant scenarios. Based on these scenarios, a total of nine numerical simulations of gas dispersion in a generic dwelling were carried out. Boundary conditions, such as gas quantity and composition, were based on a literature study. The simulations were used to evaluate the potential for accumulation of an explosive gas mixture, exposure to toxicity-related gases (both asphyxiants and irritants) and the possibility of detection of carbon monoxide (CO). Electric car batteries, electric bikes, electric scooters, electric hoverboards and larger, stationary battery energy storage systems are found to be the lithium-ion batteries with the highest energy content, which are most common in homes. Other electrical appliances – consumer products make up a larger share in the fire statistics, but these have a lower energy content and thus less potential to pose a major risk for people. Electric cars that are charged in the garage and larger batteries used for energy storage contain the most energy and therefore have the potential for the most severe consequences. However, these batteries are not stored or charged/discharged in living areas, while electric bikes/ scooters/ balancing boards are often stored and charged in the living room, hallway and bedroom. Electric bikes and similar batteries are also subjected to more mechanical and thermal loads compared with battery energy storage systems. It is therefore assumed that the frequency of incidents involving these batteries will be larger than the frequency of incidents involving battery energy storage systems. Therefore, the simulations in this study focused on venting from an electric bike battery (from a single cell and from an entire pack) in the hallway to a generic dwelling. A quantitative risk analysis of the risk associated with electric bike batteries compared with the risk associated with battery energy storage systems was not carried out. Lithium-ion batteries undergoing a thermal event typically emits 1-3 litres of gas per ampere-hour (Ah) at 26 °C and 3.7 volts (V), depending on battery chemistry and state of charge (SOC). Venting from lithium-ion batteries contains carbon dioxide, flammable components such as carbon monoxide, various hydrocarbons, methanol and hydrogen, as well as toxic components such as hydrogen fluoride, hydrogen chloride and hydrogen cyanide. The relatively large proportion of flammable gases (e.g. around 30% hydrogen) makes venting from lithium-ion batteries an explosion hazard. Although batteries with a low state of charge emit less gas than batteries with a high state of charge, the risk of explosion of batteries with a low state of charge may be larger, since the likelihood of late ignition is larger. There are many different types of lithium-ion batteries on the market and several methods for battery safety tests. Today, there is no unified, public system or database with an overview of data for venting from thermal events in lithium-ion batteries. Such a system would be useful, to cover knowledge gaps and to provide data that can be used in risk evaluations. The results show that the largest amount of flammable gas mixture, 26 litres, was accumulated by venting from a 400 watt-hour (Wh) electric bike battery pack, which was placed on a shelf in a small hallway of 3.5 square meters. When the thermal event was limited to a single battery cell, 3.6 litres of flammable gas were formed. Moreover, the results show that the location of the battery plays an important role in the accumulation of flammable gas. When the battery is stored in a partially enclosed area, such as a shelf, the gas can accumulate. The results also show that, especially for venting from a battery pack, it is best to store the batteries in large and wellventilated rooms. No explosion risk analysis was performed related to the accumulated flammable gas clouds. Fire gases from lithium-ion battery fires are generally not significantly more toxic compared with comparable plastic fires, but have the potential for low concentrations of more harmful gases, such as hydrogen fluoride (HF), to be released. The results of the simulations carried out in this study show that the limits for health-hazardous or fatal gas concentrations are exceeded by a thermal event in a lithium-ion battery. Toxic gases can have an asphyxiating and an irritating effect on humans. The results show that the critical value of irritating gases obtained before the limit value of asphyxiating gases. Hydrogen chloride (HCl) and hydrogen fluoride (HF) reached most rapidly health-hazardous or fatal gas concentrations, and these gases also spread most in the room. Furthermore, the results show that risks for people associated with exposure to toxic gases are primarily relevant when the entire battery pack is involved in the thermal event. When the thermal event is limited to a single cell, the simulations show that critical gas concentrations are reached only nearby the battery. If, on the other hand, a thermal event spreads to the entire battery pack, it leads to critical levels of toxic gases throughout the room after about 1 minute for a small room (3.5 m2 ), and in the entire upper half of a large room (43.5 m2 ) after about 4 minutes. To reduce the risk of toxic gas venting, the same measures are recommended as for the reduction of the risk of accumulated flammable gas. Larger lithium-ion batteries should be charged and stored in well-ventilated rooms that are not living areas or part of the escape route, ideally in external buildings. This is consistent with NELFO's recommendations for battery energy storage systems in residential buildings. However, costs/ benefits must be considered, especially for electric bikes and smaller batteries containing less energy than battery energy storage systems. Furthermore, closed doors are good physical barriers to prevent or delay gas and smoke spread in the dwelling. Another important barrier recommended to reduce the risk associated with venting from or fire in a lithium-ion battery is early detection. It is especially important since a thermal runaway develops very quickly, compared with, for example, a fire that starts as a smouldering fire. In this study, only a coarse analysis of the possibility of early detection of increased concentration of carbon monoxide was carried out. The results suggest that combination detectors near the battery may be a good measure to ensure early detection. Recommendations for further work identified in this study are the validation of the simulations by conducting battery fire tests of relevant electric bike batteries and conducting large-scale experiments for validation of gas dispersion and detection. It is also recommended to evaluate the potential overpressure that a delayed ignition (explosion) of gas can generate. Furthermore, it should be considered conducting a similar study for battery energy storage systems or other scenarios with significantly higher energy content than electric bike batteries.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2021. , p. 90
Series
RISE Rapport ; 2021:17
Keywords [en]
Lihium-ion batteries, Li-ion batteries, e-bike, BESS, thermal runaway, venting, explosion risk, toxic gas, exposure, dwelling, numerical simulation, CFD. Litium-ion batterier, Li-ion batterier, elsykkel, energilagringssystem, termisk hendelse, avgassing, eksplosjons risiko, giftig gas, eksponering, bolig, numerisk simulering.
National Category
Materials Chemistry
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ri:diva-53489ISBN: 978-91-89385-01-6 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ri-53489DiVA, id: diva2:1562087
Available from: 2021-06-08 Created: 2021-06-08 Last updated: 2023-06-08Bibliographically approved

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Meraner, ChristophLi, Tian

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