Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Roasty-Toasty Lithium-Iron Batteries

Yah, well, maybe "the future of transportation" is a little......ahhhh.........dangerous.

....While the battery industry has made huge strides in ensuring cells can perform safely during normal operation and recharging, there is little that can be done once cells are torn apart in a violent collision, Kumta said. In a phenomenon known as thermal runaway, a short-circuiting battery produces ever more heat, which creates a chain reaction of fire and more heat production in adjacent cells, he said.

"It's basically like a fire cracker," he said. "You have one battery that catches fire, then the next one catches fire and pretty soon they're all on fire."...

Those batteries power cars made by Tesla, BMW, and GM, among others.

The biggest problem is that the fires--once started--are near-impossible to extinguish.  The best method is to drown it in water.  But that may not be the end of it.  The article tells the story of a Tesla which was wrecked in California.  The driver died, and the fire was extinguished.  But....

...Concerned that the battery was continuing to generate heat and worried about the risk of electrical shock, the firefighters called in Tesla engineers -- which may not be possible if accidents aren't located as close to the company's factory. They removed about 25 percent of the battery's cells, Diaz said.

Fire crews accompanied the tow truck that brought the car to a salvage yard because the battery continued to pop and hiss as gas vented from the power pack, Diaz said. It didn't reignite on the trip, but it caught fire again two more times within the next 24 hours and again six days later, Diaz said....

The way to avoid all this, of course, is simple:  NEVER have an accident in a battery-powered car.

1 comment:

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