Audi patents a fire extinguishing system integrated with lithium batteries

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Audi could soon present a lithium battery with integrated fire protection system: here are the advances from some patents registered in the USA

One of the critical issues related to lithium batteries with which the Fire Brigade must deal is the management of Thermal Runaway. The exothermic reaction that occurs inside the battery requires enormous quantities of water when it propagates from one cell to the other and then to the other modules that make up a battery. As emerged from the Conference on the Safety of Lithium Batteries which was also attended by the director of, research on extinguishing agents, a specific standard and the contribution of manufacturers and producers can make the difference. Audi for example it could adopt two fire protection solutions integrated into the batteries of the upcoming electric Audi e-tron.


The Audi patent of two solutions fire protection for lithium batteries it would appear to respond to the escalation of electric car fires around the world. As CarBuzz reports, the German manufacturer has patented two solutions, both filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), which should allow to minimize the consequences of a Thermal Runaway, preventing fire. The first solution should be able to recognize individual cells whose operation is out of the security window. If the analysis of data from all cells confirms that a cell is at Thermal Runaway risk, the system would disconnect it, isolating it from the others that make up the module. The second patent, on the other hand, would intervene if the cut-off were not sufficient to limit the risk of fire.


In the event of an electric car fire caused by thermal runaway, the solution currently most used by the Fire Brigade is to cool the battery to lower the temperature inside it with enormous quantities of water. The Audi fire protection solution instead integrates the extinguishing agent directly into the lithium battery. The extinguishing agent would serve to subtract oxygen inside the module where the cell that could go into Thermal Runaway is located. That’s not all, because since the beginnings of electric cars, we have always wondered “Because manufacturers do not provide easy access to the fire brigade’s water hose as the Fireman Access on the Renault ZOE? “ In reality, the solution provided to the Fire Brigade would originally be a battery ventilation outlet, in which the Fire Brigade can also insert the lance by introducing water from inside the passenger compartment more easily than from the underbody (see photo below taken from a presentation of Igor JOVETArchitecte Batterie de Traction).



The patent of the Audi battery fire extinguishing system, also provides an entrance to which the Fire Brigade could connect an external fire extinguisher, if the integrated one is not sufficient. This solution was also proposed by Kurt Vollmacherinventor of rescue sheets and promoter of the adoption of one ISO standard for all manufacturers. In a post on Linkedin Vollmacher launches this question: “How much easier would it be for the fire brigade to turn off the lithium ion batteries if there was a standardized attack?”. The idea that in the image below it may have been inspiring and we hope that other manufacturers besides Audi are also working with their suppliers on similar solutions.

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The article is in Italian

Tags: Audi patents fire extinguishing system integrated lithium batteries

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