Most lithium ion batteries are not designed for temperatures above 60°C. As the temperature increases, lithium batteries respond by a build-up of pressure in the cell, escape of flammable gases, cell fire, and even explosive burning of the battery (thermal runaway). These hazards are partly due to shortcomings in the manufacture and proper handling of the storage medium.
Fire compartments and fire-resistant areas
Conventional storage cabinets do not protect the stored working materials from external thermal influences. In case of fire this can cause serious injury to employees and damage to property. By contrast, DÜPERTHAL Type 90 safety storage cabinets offer reliable 90-minute fire resistance in compliance with DIN EN 14470-1 resp. DIN EN 1363-1 and are classed as fire-resistant isolated areas (fire compartments) acc. to TRGS 510.
90-minutes safe fire protection
The BATTERY line safety storage cabinets are specially designed for the strict requirements for safe storage and charging of lithium-ion batteries which could catch fire in the event of malfunctions. With its Type 90 classification and explosive burning of batteries in the interior tested by the independent Fraunhofer Institute, the BATTERY line provides double fire protection - sufficient time for evacuation and a buffer for fire fighting.
On safety storage cabinets, if fires start outside the cabinet the automatic door closing system is triggered. A new feature of the BATTERY line is the mechanism that automatically closes and locks the cabinet doors in the event of fires inside the cabinet. The locking system prevents opening by employees and thus protects against a possible backdraft. Only authorised experts, e.g. the fire brigade, can unlock the doors.
Storage in accordance with insurance requirements
Safety cabinets tested according to DIN EN 14470-1 resp. DIN EN 1363-1 with a fire resistance of 90 minutes (type 90) are considered storage areas according to TRGS 510. Using the BATTERY line enables you to satisfy all legal requirements the guidelines for storage stipulated in the GDV information leaflet VdS 3103:2019-06 on accident prevention for lithium ion batteries, published by the VdS, as well as FM Global requirements. Further requirements of VdS 3103:2019-06, e.g. for the storage of lithium batteries of the medium power category, can be met with the combination of BATTERY line and Smart Control resp. Smart Box. When the backdraft protection system in the cabinet is triggered, a signal is sent to the fire alarm system via the potential-free contact in the Smart Box, for example.
State of the art working safety
As part of a risk assessment, operators have an obligation to assess the hazards that could be caused by technical equipment and devices and to implement state of the art protective measures based on this assessment. The BATTERY line’s additional facilities to isolate hazards in the event of self-ignition of the batteries guarantee long-term process reliability and can be considered to be state of the art for the purposes of your risk assessment.
Lithium ion batteries are an established part of our day-to-day lives and are sufficiently safe technology if manufactured using good production standards and handled properly. However, due to new findings and advances in development it is essential to continuously review preventive fire and hazard protection measures as part of the risk assessment and to re-assess them where necessary.
Lithium ion batteries as hazardous goods
Although lithium ion batteries are very safe in normal operation, a risk can arise, for example if the substances they contain are released due to thermal loads. The manufacturers’ technical data sheets specify that corrosive, toxic, carcinogenic and also flammable hazardous substances can escape. Appropriate preventive measures for early detection of damage are an important element in guaranteeing safe workplaces.
Early detection based on intelligent technology
The success of extinguishing depends significantly on the fire brigade being on site at the earliest possible stage of the fire. Therefore, for storage and use of lithium ion batteries comprehensive early detection and automatic signalling of thermal events, e.g. fires, is almost indispensable. Smart Control and temperature sensors immediately detect adverse thermal developments and initiate counter measures.
Handling of lithium ion batteries is a risk that is very difficult to quantify in the risk assessment. In addition to fire-resistant storage, state of the art fire detection systems with automatic alarm signalling should also be seen as essential. Smart Control is an intelligent assistance system with touch display and sensors and offers crucial advantages in this area.
Prevention and damage minimisation using Smart Control and sensors