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Thermal runaway in electric vehicles: risks and safety measures

In the rapidly evolving world of electric vehicles (EVs), there are many aspects to admire: from clean energy to cutting-edge technologies. Yet we are also faced with new challenges, and an important one is the increasingly common phenomenon of thermal runaway. But in this blog article we will take a closer look at what thermal runaway is, how it occurs, when it can occur, and why safety measures such as EV fire blankets and F-500 fire extinguishers are vital.

What is Thermal Runaway?

Thermal runaway is an alarming term that refers to a self-reinforcing process of uncontrolled heating within a battery, which can lead to overheating, damage and even fire. In electric vehicles, thermal runaway refers to a situation where the batteries in the vehicle overheat and cannot cool themselves, resulting in a potentially dangerous situation.

How does thermal runaway occur?

Thermal runaway arises from a complex combination of factors, often in response to a fault or abnormal conditions:

  • If a battery is overcharged or over-discharged, unwanted chemical reactions can occur that generate heat and contribute to thermal problems.
  • Physical impact, such as a collision, can cause internal short circuits in the battery cells. These short circuits generate heat and can lead to thermal runaway.
  • Exposure to high temperature environments can increase the temperature of the batteries and contribute to the risk of overheating and thermal problems.
  • Over time and use, batteries can lose their efficiency and dissipate heat less effectively, increasing the risk of thermal runaway.

When does thermal runaway occur?

Thermal runaway can occur in several scenarios, including:

  1. Mechanical damage as a result of an accident can lead to short circuits and thermal problems.
  2. Ignoring battery management system warnings, not following charging and storage instructions, and not regularly maintaining batteries can contribute to thermal runaway.
  3. Older batteries are more prone to thermal problems, mainly due to reduced heat dissipation.

Why EV fire blankets and F-500 Fire Extinguishers at thermal runaway?

EV fire blankets and F-500 fire extinguishers are valuable safety measures to control thermal problems in electric vehicles and isolate them from the lithium-ion fire:

  1. An EV fire blanket is specifically designed to respond to fires that occur in electric vehicles. It suppresses the fire by taking away oxygen, removing heat and disrupting the electrochemical process in the batteries. F-500 fire extinguishers have proven to be effective in cooling fires and controlling heat.
  2. In the event of a fire or thermal problem in an electric vehicle, a quick response is essential. An EV fire blanket or F-500 fire extinguisher can be kept within easy reach so users can intervene immediately and control the situation before it escalates.
  3. During a thermal runaway, EV fire blankets and F-500 fire extinguishers can help to quickly extinguish the fire, limiting damage to the vehicle and surroundings. This could potentially save lives and protect valuable assets.
  4. In the event of a fire in an electric vehicle, the safety of occupants and emergency responders is of the utmost importance. An EV fire blanket or F-500 fire extinguisher can significantly reduce the time it takes to extinguish the fire, improving the safety of everyone on site.
  5. Fires caused by thermal runaway may have a tendency to reignite due to the presence of high temperatures and flammable materials. Using an EV fire blanket or F-500 fire extinguisher helps extinguish the fire effectively and minimizes the chance of re-ignition.

As we move towards a greener future with electric vehicles, it is imperative to ensure that safety goes hand in hand with innovation. An EV fire blanket or F-500 fire extinguisher is a wise investment for safety and peace of mind. This guarantees that we can enjoy the benefits of electric mobility without sacrificing the protection and safety of you and your environment.

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