PUBLICATIONS AND VIDEOS
Electric vehicles & risks to first responders
Speaker(s): Prof. Paul Christensen
Organisation(s): Newcastle University
Duration: 59 min
The penetration of lithium ion batteries (LiBs) into global society has far outstripped our knowledge of the associated risks and hazards. Whilst incidents of fires and explosions involving these devices remain low, this is likely to change given the projected significant rise in their exploitation in electric vehicles and industrial and domestic battery energy storage systems. Some governments are showing a worryingly complacent attitude to the safety of their citizens and first responders in this respect.
This webinar provides a brief summary of fires and explosions involving lithium ion batteries on land, sea and in the air. The science behind LiBs is briefly explained and the hazards of toxic gas emission, fire, explosion, stranded electrical energy and associated electrocution and arc flash explosions are highlighted. This presentation includes videos taken by the Author during his ignition experiments at RAF Spadeadam and the UK Fire Services College using large EV modules, the latter of which showed that LiBs in thermal runaway could cause vapour cloud explosions and that such an explosion was responsible for the incidents involving the McMicken battery energy storage system in Surprise, Arizona in 2019, which badly injured two fire officers, and the installation on Merseyside, UK, in September 2020, and possibly the incident involving the battery energy storage installation on the Nathan Campus of Griffiths University in Australia in March 2020.
The Author (cautiously) offers some tips and suggestions on dealing with LiB fires and answers questions from the audience.
Online purchase options:
Non-members are able to purchase access to online streaming of the online lectures and webinars.