Posted on 24/03/2020 in Electric & Electronic 2020
Stranded energy

This is the term coined for the dangerous situation where an incident results in damaged batteries containing energy with no means to empty this out as electricity. This is a major challenge in e-vehicles but also in energy storage facilities. In an incident in Sunrise, Arizona, at an electricity utility lithium-ion energy storage site, eight firefighters were injured when a battery container exploded without warning, during monitoring, hours after heat and smoke first appeared. Lithium ion batteries are estimated to have a failure rate of one in ten million to one in forty million (i.e. risk of failure during the battery lifetime). Because energy storage containers have maybe 100 000 battery cells inside, this means a risk of maybe one in a hundred for each container. High contained energy means damaged batteries need spraying with water for hours, or even days (see above) posing questions of water supply and runoff pollution risks. The only identified solution to stranded energy to date is to submerge in salt water. Netherlands firefighters tow shipping containers to EV accident sites, fill the box with water, then lift the compromised battery or vehicle into the bath.

NFPA Journal Jan-Feb 2020 “Beyond EVs” and “Research powered

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