Lithium ion batteries hazard and use assessment

Fire Protection Research Foundation report: "Lithium-Ion Batteries Hazard and Use Assessment"
Author: Celina Mikolajczak, P.E., Michael Kahn, Ph.D., Kevin White, Ph.D., and Richard Thomas Long, P.E., Exponents Failure Analysis Associates, Inc.
Date of issue: July 2011

Foreword

Lithium ion batteries are in widespread use in consumer electronics. As electric vehicles enter the U.S. marketplace, there is an expectation of a step increase in the number and size of battery packs in storage and use. The Foundation’s Property Insurance Research Group initiated a study of the hazards associated with lithium ion battery storage, with an aim of developing fire protection strategies to mitigate loss associated with fire incidence with these batteries in bulk storage and distribution, alone and in manufactured products.

The overall aim is to develop the technical basis for requirements in NFPA and other standards which prescribe protection requirements.

The first phase of the project, described in this report, is a literature review of battery technology, failure modes and events, usage, codes and standards, and a hazard assessment during the life cycle of storage and distribution. It lays out a research approach toward evaluating appropriate facility fire protection strategies.

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