December 27, 2021
The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) published Lithium-Ion Battery Fires Guidance Document (NEMA BS 30000-2021). This guidance document provides information on the issues related to the use of lithium-ion batteries, how fires start in batteries, and how they may be detected, controlled, suppressed, and extinguished.
It also provides guidance on post-fire management. Thermal runaway starts in a single cell before thermal propagation creates a domino effect through the adjacent cells. Defects and physical damage can create internal short circuits leading to cell failure. Other events that could lead to cell failure arise external to the cells and so may be detected. The thermal runaway phase exhibits increasing temperature and heat release plus venting/gassing off of flammable/ toxic electrolytes. This accelerates as cell failure approaches.
“There has been a proliferation of lithium-ion batteries used in various market segments,” said Brian Marchionini, NEMA Senior Program Manager, Connected Systems and Strategic Initiatives. “The growth of these batteries has direct implications for the fire and life safety industry. This document provides information that will help interested parties become more familiar with how to detect, control, suppress, and extinguish fires from these widely used batteries.”
This guidance document is written for the fire and life safety industry. NEMA BS 30000-2021
is available on the NEMA website for $53 in hard copy and at no cost as an electronic download.