E-Bikes are a growing staple for swift and agile urban transportation. Unfortunately, the high energy batteries associated with these new devices pose a safety risk that simply can not be ignored. Defects or damage to a battery can spell disaster, but careful planning can mitigate the majority this risk.
Currently, start up E-Bike and micro mobility brands at large are using standard metal racks for hub charging of lithium-batteries. Factors adding to risk include high state of charge, high energy batteries too plentiful and too close, and inadequate containment. Lack of an alarm system and possible unseen damage from bike operators also present additional looming risks.
- 2023 e-bike sales are estimated to reach 40 million units worldwide, generating about $20 billion in revenue.
- Between 2020 and 2023, upwards of 130 million electric bicycles (using all battery technologies) are expected to be sold worldwide
All too often the racks have no HVAC system, and rely on residential fire alarms. Access to quality PPE for a timely and effective response is also lacking. Common BC- rated extinguishers will not quench a lithium fire, nor are fire blankets readily available to protect responding personnel.
As risk rises, so do potential consequences, some catastrophic.
Companies rely on the CellBlock line of fire containment cases, racks and cabinets to contain and extinguish lithium-ion battery fires and keep valuable cells and team members safe. Dylan Francis Vandemark, CTO and VP of Product Development at CellBlock FCS, tests above industry standards to ensure the products will perform in an emergency situation.
Through CellBlock’s analysis of current lithium battery safety protocols, companies can gauge risk and preparedness. Recommendations for engineering, administrative controls and protective equipment are then offered.
In the above case of a startup E-Bike charging rack with few controls, an increased level of separation between batteries and fire proof barriers would alleviate propagation issues. Commercial smoke detection and an improved sprinkler system where charging is most common is important, as well as battery specific fire suppression products and appropriate PPE. CellBlock high heat gloves and textiles are fire rated to nearly 2000 degrees, giving ample protection to any lithium fire response.
Even more comprehensive protection already exists. Custom CellBlock FCS racks, cases and cabinets incorporate a simply brilliant passive fire suppression system, automatically deploying CellBlock EX when activated, directly from its proprietary shelves.
Most importantly, there needs to be a plan which includes standard procedures for responding to lithium fire, understood by all affected employees, with containment systems to handle the volume of batteries in circulation.
CellBlock’s versatility allows it to meet the fire protection needs of multiple industries including manufacturing and production facilities, building construction, transportation of dangerous goods (land, sea and air), renewable energy storage, military applications and for archival/museum safekeeping. Lightweight, environmentally friendly, durable and flexible, the FCP panels can be used to line existing structures from walls to shelves and floors or manufactured as self-contained boxes, making them an ideal solution for every industry.
Fire rated fabrics and textiles unrivaled in the industry allow CellBlock to fabricate custom safety solutions, for all our current and future E needs. Proprietary cabinets, cases and drums are capable of mitigating even the most powerful high watt hour risks.
Cellblock FCS is revolutionizing the safe handling, transportation, and storage of lithium-ion batteries and other dangerous goods. Most recently, they added an exhaust monitoring system upgrade available to all cases and cabinets. Cases, racks and cabinets are customizable, and can be easily configured for your exact needs.
As the popularity of micro mobility rises, so too will the volume of lithium batteries and needed measures to keep us and these novelties safe. Being prepared is our best bet.