Report Identifies Fire Protection Strategies for Battery Production

07/07/2021

Siemens, TÜV Süd and the chair of Production Engineering of E-Mobility Components (PEM) at RWTH Aachen University together have published an elaborate report on specific safety risks in the production of modern batteries. The document "Principles for risk-based fire protection strategies for lithium-ion battery cell production" identifies all potential hazards along the entire production chain that are known as of July 2021. As a result, the 37-page report recommends concrete measures for prevention in the areas of building, process, machine and operational fire safety.

  Draft of a battery cell production site Copyright: © Siemens

According to current estimates, global battery demand is growing by 25 percent annually, reaching a consumption of 2,600 gigawatt hours in 2030. In Europe alone, production capacity for lithium-ion batteries is expected to increase from around 34 gigawatt-hours at present to around 600 gigawatt-hours in 2030. " The fast pace of developments in the field of LIB cell production brings along new tasks in fire protection," say the authors of the report that is solely focused on the cell production within the legal framework of Europe, with a special emphasis on Germany. "Without any fire protection measures, a thermal runaway could lead to an electrochemical chain reaction with high energy and heat release by means of fire, explosion, and toxic gases with a rapid propagation to other LIB cells and/or production parts," the report says.

Intelligent Detectors And More Automation

While in electrode manufacturing and in cell assembly there are hazards that exist due to process steps or intrinsic material properties, in cell finishing as soon as the cell is filled with electrolyte a potential of electro [1] chemical hazards is given. Within this last production step of lithium-ion batteries, the report therefore recommends numerous countermeasures – such as the structural separation of individual process areas, the installation of intelligent fire detectors and extinguishing systems, and the automation of special work steps.

Lithium-ion batteries have long since been used in more than just e-mobility. Today's batteries are also found in other means of transportation as well as in stationary energy storage systems and in laptops and cell phones.

Download the white paper: Siemens Report Fire Protection White Paper
Download the entire report: Siemens Report Fire Protection

The report is also available via this external link.