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Lithium Battery Fire Suppression


BenS

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Hi,

A friend recently told me that his insurance company insisted on some form of automatic fire suppression with his lithium battery installation. I still need to confirm this with my own insurance company.

He referred me to this product on Takealot: AFO Fire Extinguishing Ball and another local option is Fireball RSA.

Has anyone had the same insurance requirement or installed any automatic fire suppression devices with their lithium batteries?

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Edited by BenS
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Those fireballs against a lithium battery fire will be pretty useless and just leave a big 'ol mess. See countless videos online about these balls.

Lithium battery fires are not the easiest to put out and need specialised methods to contain/suppress or at the very least slow down.

There are loads of videos online about the degrees of fires from the different types of chemistries, so your fire suppression methods would vary depending on the type of battery chemistry you use.

If insurance companies want to start adding that as conditions then somewhere along the line they or the regulators would need to put in place the standards for this.

Edited by WannabeSolarSparky
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Insurance companies should stay at insurance and not get involved in something they know nothing about.

My friend installs fire systems, those balls will just leave a mess and do nothing to stop a lithium fire. Special products is needed to extinguish those fires and still isn't very effective.

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32 minutes ago, Jacques Ester said:

Insurance companies should stay at insurance and not get involved in something they know nothing about.

My friend installs fire systems, those balls will just leave a mess and do nothing to stop a lithium fire. Special products is needed to extinguish those fires and still isn't very effective.

I think they do have a legitimate concern. Having insurance doesn't mean that you don't have to act responsibly, and a general principle of insurance is that there is no insurance against things that you can foresee or could have taken precautions against. EG if you have a thatch roof, you need to have a lightning rod, and the insurer will be even happier if you have the thatch treated a flame retardant. Or if you insure your car you will get better premiums if you have a tracker, microdots etc.

Generally the insurers do consult with specialists and employ actuaries who will look at the ever changing landscape of what is insured and look for trends in that

Of course they need to make a profit as well. So they do have some motivation to look for reasons to not pay out, or to have conditions attached to the cover and be very strict with those.

Another problem is that a lot of people (not just in the insurance industry) don't understand that "lithium" is just a broad, catch all term for a category of batteries. There has been adverse publicity of things like cell phones catching fire. A lot of people don't understand that there are different lithium chemistries with different fire risks, and unless some sort of rating/certification system is introduced, all "lithium" batteries will be deemed to be equally risky.

My neighbour recently installed PV for his parents. He used lead-acid batteries. He won't use "lithium" because of the fire risk. He says some airlines won't allow "lithium batteries" in the hold, and so he is not going to let them near his parents (though he hasn't taken their cell phones away).

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2 hours ago, Nexuss said:

Heres a fun comparison of different types of lithium fires.

NMC
https://youtu.be/WdDi1haA71Q?t=390

LFP
https://youtu.be/07BS6QY3wI8?t=137

PRO TIP: Don't attack your stationary Pylontech/Hubble/FredomWon/Greenrich/etc with a huge metal spike.

image.png.d3883818e870a2e97e19510e3fd08cd7.png

 Stationary batteries are much safer than batteries in a vehicle.
Even so, BEV fires are less than ICE vehicles.

In terms of insurance, you can always exclude "fire caused by Lithium Battery" and still be covered by other fires.

For example: Many people exclude alarms from their policy.
They have alarms - for own use. Some are part of home automation and self installed.
The clauses associated with the alarm and hassles (test every few months, turn on every time, etc) make the premium saving not worth it.

 

EDIT:
How the professionals test:
image.png.8db14d505734b0609fd57755b8833c0e.png

Edited by system32
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2 hours ago, Nexuss said:

Heres a fun comparison of different types of lithium fires. This will show you why you do not want a NMC battery in your house and rather a LFP one. 

NMC

https://youtu.be/WdDi1haA71Q?t=390

LFP

https://youtu.be/07BS6QY3wI8?t=137

 

I asked before but you avoided to reply. Can you please show us a real world example with an NMC battery (especially Hubble, because you keep on thrashing that brand by some reason) which has caused issues purely based on its chemistry. 

I can show you videos where a coke bottle explodes if you put mentos inside. Are you going to tell us, it’s not safe to buy coke?

Edited by PowerUser
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The sound effects on this one is insane 🤪
<--- Makes note to avoid this chemistry at all costs :)

 

Just to avoid some confusionv there is a difference between NMC and NCM :)
 

Quote

Lithium Nickel Cobalt Manganese Oxide (NMC) material has optimum particle size - used in batteries with high energy or high power applications. Lithium Nickel Cobalt Manganese Oxide (NCM) has lower iron impurity for higher safety.

 

Edited by WannabeSolarSparky
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51 minutes ago, system32 said:

PRO TIP: Don't attack your stationary Pylontech/Hubble/FredomWon/Greenrich/etc with a huge metal spike.

lol thats just to show you to what lengths you have to go to to make an LFP battery catch fire ,whereas NMC is prone to thermal runaway and explode without you poking it with a spike. If you look at the whole Tesla battery video you will see the battery was just sitting there when it caught fire ,thats a big difference.

Edited by Nexuss
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7 hours ago, Nexuss said:

lol thats just to show you to what lengths you have to go to to make an LFP battery catch fire ,whereas NMC is prone to thermal runaway and explode without you poking it with a spike. If you look at the whole Tesla battery video you will see the battery was just sitting there when it caught fire ,thats a big difference.

Clickbait video.

I watched the whole video - did not see a Tesla car at all - only 18650 cells.
image.thumb.png.28495dcd43002fe1f4f6e4dea4960eca.png

Tesla cars and batteries are safe when used with a Tesla BMS and for their intended use and not abused.

These hackers took 18650 cells from a Tesla and used them unsafely.
At 11:30 they admit - there was no BMS connected to the batteries

Edited by system32
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3 minutes ago, system32 said:

Clickbait video.

I watched the whole video - did not see a Tesla car at all - only 18650 cells.
image.thumb.png.28495dcd43002fe1f4f6e4dea4960eca.png

Tesla cars and batteries are safe when used with a Tesla BMS and for there intended use.

These hackers took 18650 cells from a Tesla and used them unsafely.
At 11:30 they admit - there was no BMS connected to the batteries

Yes i agree this was just to show what happens in a worst case scenario with the chemistry  , ie when BMS fails and the battery gets overcharged,or if you dont use a BMS.

Edited by Nexuss
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