How Fike Blue Suppresses Lithium Battery Fires

Li-ion battery modules contain hundreds of battery cells
The Problem

Thermal Runaway

Within an ESS are hundreds to thousands of lithium-ion cells, any of which can experience an unpredictable phenomenon called “thermal runaway,” causing the battery to release flammable gases, emit smoke and potentially explode or catch fire. This process can continue to spread throughout the battery modules, consuming all batteries and potentially resulting in a large-scale fire or explosion.

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This ever-present fire hazard is an unavoidable obstacle, slowing the full adoption of energy storage systems and the embracing of alternate forms of power generation and storage into urban environments.

The Solution

Fike Blue

Fike Blue is the first solution tested and proven to put out a lithium battery fire by eliminating the cascading thermal runaway event and the possibility of reignition. Here’s how it works:

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When a heat anomaly is detected, a releasing panel activates the cylinder to flow Fike Blue throughout the piping network.

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However, only in the module where the fire is located will the nozzle open and discharge the liquid.

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Fike Blue immerses the overheated cells within the module.

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With a boiling point of more than 400°C, the liquid absorbs the intense exothermic heat produced from thermal runaway without breaking down.

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The temperatures for all cells dramatically decrease over the course of several minutes until the event and chance for re-ignition is over.

    Now that the problem of thermal runaway has been solved, the full adoption of renewable energy production and storage within populated areas is possible because of Fike Blue!

    Fike Blue Overview

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    Q. How does Fike Blue work?

    With a boiling point of more than 400°C, the liquid absorbs the intense exothermic heat produced from thermal runaway without breaking down. For comparison, 3M™ Novec™ 1230 boils at a little under 50°C.

    Q. Does Fike Blue have any environmental impact?

    Blue uses exponentially less liquid than the water required by sprinklers and especially by fire fighters, resulting in far less runoff into the surrounding environment. Furthermore, the liquid does not fall under the family of PFAS, many of which are currently under investigation around the world.

    Q. How is Fike Blue stored and discharged?

    The liquid is stored as a pressurized liquid and also discharged as a liquid.

    Q. Is Fike Blue electrically conductive?

    Blue is far less conductive than water, as all tests performed either by Fike or by a third party have yet to witness the shorting of any cells.

    Energy Storage Detection Options

    Various technologies may be used to detect smoke, flame or offgases generated by batteries experiencing a thermal event. The sooner the hazard is detected, the faster that Fike Blue is discharged and may save the most cells. Detection options, ordered from the earliest to latest to identify thermal runaway, include:
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    • Fike DTS (Distributed Temperature Sensing) Cable - Measures a complete temperature profile in real time, and therefore can detect the precise location of a malfunctioning battery far before it reaches the thermal runaway.
    • Li-ion Tamer - Specifically engineered and designed for ESS fire protection; provides localized gas detection and reporting within individual lithium ion battery racks.
    • Xtralis Integrated Gas & Smoke Detection - Continuously samples the air for presence of gas or smoke particles within an ESS unit.

    • Industrial Gas Detection - Detects presence of off-gas within an ESS unit once it reaches a certain threshold.

    • Traditional Smoke & Heat Detection - Placed inside the ESS enclosure to detect presence of smoke or heat, one of the final indicators of thermal runaway.

    A SHP Pro® or Fike Cheetah® Xi fire panel is required to support any of the above detection methods and the releasing of Fike Blue, and may connect to the Battery Management System (BMS) to shut down charging circuits of batteries upon detection of a thermal event and activate local notification systems such as horns, bells and strobes.

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