Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Flight Deck Forums > Tech Log
Reload this Page >

Battery fires

Tech Log The very best in practical technical discussion on the web

Battery fires

Old 28th Sep 2018, 19:10
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: London
Posts: 1,260
Battery fires

I sat in on a very interesting lecture at the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS) about battery fires on aircraft.
The lecturer was from a US safety group. It had some really interesting films of what happens, It was essentially impossible to put the fire out. It also produced smoke which can fill the flight deck to the extent that no one can read the instruments.
There is no on board equipment to effectively deal with the problem.
A firm in the US is now producing devices that can put the fire out and this was demonstrated in the films.They are a sort of cushion that is put on the fire and a blanket to cover the whole fire.

What are doing to have these devices on board ?
4Greens is offline  
Old 28th Sep 2018, 20:11
  #2 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Liverpool
Posts: 32
Did they not demonstrate water?

Or would that render the product they are attempting to sell marketless.
Ben_S is offline  
Old 28th Sep 2018, 20:14
  #3 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: UK
Posts: 108
Was it a group that has something to sell ? - ah yes
Jetstream67 is offline  
Old 29th Sep 2018, 08:09
  #4 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: London
Posts: 1,260
They did demonstrate water, it does not work.
4Greens is offline  
Old 29th Sep 2018, 13:59
  #5 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Germany
Posts: 344
Are you talking phone battery fires or aircraft battery fires?

Submerging phones in a bucket/bowl of water is standard procedure for such occurences. There are many threads about cases on these forums.
wiedehopf is offline  
Old 29th Sep 2018, 14:13
  #6 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: N5109.2W10.5
Posts: 682
Submerging phones in a bucket/bowl of water is standard procedure for such occurences.
Not recommended in confined space (e.g. aircraft) due Lithium will oxidise in water releasing flammable H2 gas.
Lithium battery fires: Why not water?

This is probably what 4 Greens mentioned.
https://cellblockfcs.com/libik-dry-f...MaAjhxEALw_wcB
Goldenrivett is offline  
Old 29th Sep 2018, 19:43
  #7 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: London
Posts: 1,260
It is what I mentioned. Their equipment works on the films they show. It also shows water making the fire worse.

After hearing the talk I felt this is a major problem and we need to know if the kit on most aircraft is suitable. If not we need government getting things moving.
4Greens is offline  
Old 29th Sep 2018, 22:09
  #8 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: PA
Age: 56
Posts: 31
Submerging phones in a bucket/bowl of water is standard procedure for such occurences.
underfire is offline  
Old 30th Sep 2018, 06:59
  #9 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Germany
Posts: 344
Lithium is not present in its metallic form in rechargeable Lithium Ion batteries.

Even if hydrogen were created you would have to create quite a quantity to create concentration that are high enough to be a danger except form maybe a small flame over the water where the gas is escaping. Now unless you light the bubbles coming up it's likely that it will just dissipate and mix with cabin air. Which is harmless unless you somehow produce big quantities.

As the video above states the problem are the flammable electrolytes contained.
wiedehopf is offline  
Old 30th Sep 2018, 08:23
  #10 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: N5109.2W10.5
Posts: 682
Hi wiedehopf,

I wish the official answers all agreed. From BEA https://www.bea.aero/docspa/2010/f-p...k101208.en.pdf para 2.2
"Throwing water on a lithium battery fire can, however, revive the flames and make it more difficult to extinguish because of the reduction of lithium in water, which leads to the release of hydrogen, which is highly inflammable."

So it sounds something like if you don't have anything else better - then use water to cool the battery and extinguish the flames in the surrounding materials.
Goldenrivett is offline  
Old 30th Sep 2018, 09:02
  #11 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Manchester
Age: 43
Posts: 615
Any liquid is the answer, even vodka will do the trick. It will both cool and also quench the fire of oxygen. Lithium manganese oxide is not flammable in water and won't combust in water. Unless you throw in an oxidising agent So don't try and put one out with H2O2 or KMnO4
Ex Cargo Clown is offline  
Old 30th Sep 2018, 12:46
  #12 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Brisbane
Posts: 168
GR, don’t confuse “Lithium” batteries with “Lithium-Ion” batteries.

”Lithium” batteries, also known as Lithium Metal batteries are non-rechargeable, generally small, and are not very common on aircraft, although sometimes used by photographers. My Nikon DSLR came packaged with a free one. They are also sold in common sizes as an expensive alternative to Alkaline single-use cells. They are also common as “button” cells for watches etc. They contain lithium metal, which reacts with water. They do not tend to pose a fire risk on aircraft when contained in equipment, although there are risks to carrying them in bulk shipments, and have a significant dangerous goods code accordingly.

”Lithium-Ion” batteries, are the rechargeable ones used in mobile phones, tablets, computers, video cameras and power tools. Sometimes known as Lithium-polymer, or Li-Po. As stated earlier, they contain Lithium compounds, not Lithium metal. The best extinguishing method is to immerse in water - removing heat and preventing any further heat buildup. It is the heat that causes the fire. The heat is caused by the battery self discharging due charging fault or damage. The fire is not burning lithium, it is the flammable organic electrolyte contained within the cell that catches fire. This is why water works very well with this type of battery. As shown in the FAA video posted above, halon/BCF can extinguish the fire, but it does not halt the thermal runaway within, so it is likely the battery will re-ignite if not continually quenched or immersed in water.

I agree that the report you quoted creates confusion. On one hand, the author makes the distinction between lithium and lithium-ion batteries, but then goes on to not appear to understand the difference when it comes to fire extinguishing. Hopefully we are now better informed 8 years down the track.

Last edited by Derfred; 30th Sep 2018 at 13:05.
Derfred is offline  
Old 30th Sep 2018, 15:23
  #13 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Germany
Posts: 344
Originally Posted by Ex Cargo Clown View Post
Any liquid is the answer, even vodka will do the trick. It will both cool and also quench the fire of oxygen. Lithium manganese oxide is not flammable in water and won't combust in water. Unless you throw in an oxidising agent So don't try and put one out with H2O2 or KMnO4
Not sure throwing vodka on any fire is a good idea. I mean it'll extingish the original fire and replace it with an alcohol fire.

Even if spirits don't burn that well they burn well enough and burning liquids are just never fun.
wiedehopf is offline  
Old 1st Oct 2018, 10:19
  #14 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Brisbane
Posts: 168
Originally Posted by wiedehopf View Post
Not sure throwing vodka on any fire is a good idea. I mean it'll extingish the original fire and replace it with an alcohol fire.

Even if spirits don't burn that well they burn well enough and burning liquids are just never fun.
Why is it that I suddenly have an insatiable desire to test this theory mythbusters style?

The scenario is this: the aircraft has run out of water and only has vodka. A laptop computer catches fire....

A great marketing campaign for the guys trying to sell that product mentioned earlier!
Derfred is offline  
Old 1st Oct 2018, 16:00
  #15 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Manchester
Age: 43
Posts: 615
Originally Posted by Derfred View Post


Why is it that I suddenly have an insatiable desire to test this theory mythbusters style?

The scenario is this: the aircraft has run out of water and only has vodka. A laptop computer catches fire....

A great marketing campaign for the guys trying to sell that product mentioned earlier!
Don't bother, I've tried it, and it worked. Vodka doesn't burn that well in an Li-ion fire. This is peer-reviewed by four fellow chemists in a lab environment involving a pumpkin and my patio, plus various accelerants that were "borrowed" from the lab.
Ex Cargo Clown is offline  
Old 23rd Feb 2019, 10:24
  #16 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Leeds, UK
Posts: 281
scary

Just seen this on an Ebay item description for a portable battery bank, you know that you use to keep your phone battery topped up. The rating in the ad is 500,000mAH! Ad is at https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/New-Power....c100005.m1851

Problems You May Encounter

-Question: Why haven't I received the package yet?
-Answer: There may be the following situations, please try one by one:
(1) Parcels for international shipments may be delayed, you can use the tracking number to contact the logistics company or the local post office.
(2) If it is inconvenience for you to collect the package in time, please contact the courier and ask for the location of your parcel.
If you don’t mind, you can also contact us and we will help you solve the problem.
-Question: Why does Power Bank have no print capacity(mAh)?
-Answer: If we printing capacity, the product can not be allowed to transport by the plane, we hope you can understand this.
groundbum is offline  
Old 23rd Feb 2019, 11:10
  #17 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Seat 0A
Posts: 8,144
I just tried to report that idiot to Ebay; after going round in circles on it's website for 10 minutes, I gave up.
Capn Bloggs is offline  
Old 23rd Feb 2019, 15:26
  #18 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Reading, UK
Posts: 13,140
Originally Posted by Capn Bloggs View Post
I just tried to report that idiot to Ebay; after going round in circles on it's website for 10 minutes, I gave up.
One would hope that the TSA would simply disallow any power bank that isn't clearly marked with a capacity that's within the limit.

But then again, it's the TSA ...
DaveReidUK is offline  
Old 23rd Feb 2019, 17:06
  #19 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: on the ground
Posts: 353
Originally Posted by groundbum View Post
Just seen this on an Ebay item description for a portable battery bank, you know that you use to keep your phone battery topped up. The rating in the ad is 500,000mAH! Ad is at https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/New-Power....c100005.m1851

Problems You May Encounter

-Question: Why haven't I received the package yet?
-Answer: There may be the following situations, please try one by one:
(1) Parcels for international shipments may be delayed, you can use the tracking number to contact the logistics company or the local post office.
(2) If it is inconvenience for you to collect the package in time, please contact the courier and ask for the location of your parcel.
If you don’t mind, you can also contact us and we will help you solve the problem.
-Question: Why does Power Bank have no print capacity(mAh)?
-Answer: If we printing capacity, the product can not be allowed to transport by the plane, we hope you can understand this.
There is no way in hell that pack is physically large enough to contain 500,000mAh (500 Ah).
In fact the battery pack itself is labelled 238.5WH:



At about 4V, this implies 60Ah, which is still complete codswallop.
6Ah would be closer to the mark.

And that is the real reason they don't mark the capacity on them - if they tell the truth then they can't compete with the other scammers, and if they print their outrageous lies, they can't ship the battery by air.
nonsense is offline  
Old 23rd Feb 2019, 17:30
  #20 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Northern Europe
Age: 43
Posts: 144
Originally Posted by groundbum View Post
Just seen this on an Ebay item description for a portable battery bank, you know that you use to keep your phone battery topped up. The rating in the ad is 500,000mAH!


Don't worry about it. The stated capacity is clearly fake.
They say you can fully charge it in 10-12 hours with a USB--cable, so that would limit the capacity of the batterypack to around 24,000 mAH. Judging from the size of it, maybe even just 50% of that.😆
The Bartender is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.