How to control an EV car fire onboard of ships
You have probably heard about the Felicity Ace, the ship that capsized on March 1st, 2022, and then sunk with thousands of vehicles from the Volkswagen Group onboard. Some of them electric. And although there is no proof of the fact, many believe that the fire on the Felicity Ace started with an EV car catching fire, including the ships Caption Joao Mendes Cabecas.
These days, more and more people are investing in new, modern electric vehicles. And these vehicles need to be shipped, often by cargo ships. This means that car decks on vessels are carrying a lot of these EV cars close to each other. But what happens if one of them catches fire?
According to researchgate and our own live tests, it is very difficult to extinguish an electric vehicle fire. Even more so, when cars are parked closely to one another. During an EV car fire, large amounts of hydrogen fluoride are released because of the burning lithium-ion battery. Calculations show that even a fire of a small lithium-ion battery produces an amount of hydrogen fluoride that is hazardous to the health of people near the fire. And, if the fire spreads to other cars on board the vessel, the whole ship is at risk.
Our solution to control EV car fires on ships
When it comes to controlling EV-car fires, of course, there is not just one solution. But the rising problem of EV-car fires was the reason for us to create the Fire Isolator concept. With a lot of experience in Safety in the maritime industry, our team came up with this concept that contains several products to stop EV-car fires in a safe way.
The Key Elements of the Fire Isolator consist of several tested and proven elements that, when used together, deliver the best results when fighting EV fires in car parks or garages:
- The use of a high-temperature resistant car Fire Blanket (up to 1600 degrees C°, tested according to ISO EN 13501-1) in order to take away the oxygen, slowly smothering the fire. The most important reason for the blanket however, is to minimize collateral damage, making sure the fire does not spread to other cars or the ship’s construction.
- The use of aerosol units interrupts the chemical chain reactions occurring in the flames and suppresses the fire resulting in further temperature reduction.
- The use of a water mist lance to spray a water mist over the blanket. This makes the blanket even more dense so that the aerosols stay under the blanket even more. It also cools off the car.
Make your ship a safer place with Fire Isolator
Of course, our Fire Isolator products can’t prevent EV cars from catching fire. But when they do catch fire, Fire Isolator can help you control the fire quickly. This is very important, especially when the car is next to other EV cars that might catch fire too. This way you can contain the fire and make sure it doesn’t spread, causing a huge problem for the entire ship.
That is why we advise every ship or vessel to have at least one Fire Isolator kit on board at the car deck. Our reusable fire blanket prevents potentially catastrophic collateral damage as a result of the (hard to extinguish) EV car fire. The blanket prevents the fire from spreading and creates a ‘confined space’ in order for the aerosol units to have maximum effect. Dangerous gases and smoke are smothered under the fire blanket, preventing people on the ship and the car deck from inhaling toxic smoke. The aerosol units are then deployed to bring the temperature down, as the aerosol cloud that is created under the blanket/car, starts to disrupt the chemical chain reactions inside the battery. A water mist lance can then be used to spray water over the car (with the blanket over it), to minimize smoke development.
Are you a ship owner, safety engineer, or captain, and interested in our products? Or do you have any questions regarding this post? Please feel free to contact us! We are happy to answer any questions you may have.