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fireproof EUC charging station


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Hi all,

since some wheels did go up in flames (inmotion v10f for example), I decided to load and store my wheel inside a metall box in the future.
Besides the extra safety, the box I choose should look nice so my wife accepts it as well ;).

It turned out, that finding the right size wasn't that easy, eventually I found the optimal box for my 9bs2.
The box doesn't look too bad and has enough extra space for all my euc utils and the charging device.

Enders  Aluminiumbox VANCOUVER 123 l
https://www.amazon.de/dp/B00JBZP442/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_U_xvUYBbM3907CK

Has enyone done this allready and maybe found a better alternativ?
We could collect all candidates here to have a nice list of boxes suitable for different wheel sizes.

 

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Only if you make it one Don't forget we are dealing with batteries encased in round cells, not your average quadcopter pouch LiPos. I'm in the "fpv" community, and the euc community, and LiPo fir

For safety and awareness: You can absolutely extinguish lithium battery fires!!   The battery usually contains such small amounts of lithium metal, during the failure that cause fire, the lithium

It is mainly because lithium fire ≠ li-ion battery fire..

2 hours ago, Thai-lad said:

Lithium battery fires will burn hot enough to melt aluminum.

I'd still bet that it beats nothing, though. Isn't the lithium ion temperature ~1200 degrees? That is basically right at the melting temperature of aluminum if I'm not mistaken.

Perhaps some fire retardant material within the container and ventilation could keep the fire somewhat contained.

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6 hours ago, GamingBarbecue256 said:

I'd still bet that it beats nothing, though. Isn't the lithium ion temperature ~1200 degrees? That is basically right at the melting temperature of aluminum if I'm not mistaken.

Perhaps some fire retardant material within the container and ventilation could keep the fire somewhat contained.

Aluminum boxes will soften and then burst at the seams from the pressure (hot gas expands),  just as the aluminum cans that contain the battery electrolyte themselves do.  Even the halon extinguishers in airplane holds were largely unsuccessful in controlling the fires, doubt you could do much better in an aluminum box at home.   

A small oven like storage chamber built with cement blocks, equipped with a chimney and lined with fire brick might safely contain a battery fire.  Or perhaps a steel fireproof safe (though I'd be afraid it would also explode from internal pressure).  An aluminum box?  No way.

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I've actually worried about this a lot as I have five EUCs and one eBike. I just shrug and have a laisez fair attitude, and make sure I have adequate renter's insurance and four foam fire extinguishers around. I think I should probably have more like ten...

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5 hours ago, Thai-lad said:

 

Aluminum boxes will soften and then burst at the seams from the pressure (hot gas expands),  just as the aluminum cans that contain the battery electrolyte themselves do.  Even the halon extinguishers in airplane holds were largely unsuccessful in controlling the fires, doubt you could do much better in an aluminum box at home.   

A small oven like storage chamber built with cement blocks, equipped with a chimney and lined with fire brick might safely contain a battery fire.  Or perhaps a steel fireproof safe (though I'd be afraid it would also explode from internal pressure).  An aluminum box?  No way.

Fire boxes don't work like pressure cookers, unless the box is built to contain pressure they will vent well before they can gain enough psi to explode. 

The point in this application is to contain the flames, aluminium wouldn't be my first choice in any firebox personally, but it is better than nothing and will stop the fire spreading if you can get to it fast enough. 

What you do with it when you get to it I think determines the box more than anything else. Leaving it burning is not a good option, there is a lot of energy there to fuel a fire. Making it movable so you can wheel it, or move it quickly outside would be one option, but could be pretty hot by that stage and it's still on fire once your outside.. I think better would be a steel box with a lid on top you put the unit down into. Keep a hose nearby and if the worst happens and it suddenly burst into flames fill the box with water and drown the unit. 

If you wanted to get really fancy, you could put the box in an area it can drain without causing water damage. Then run a plastic hose through the box connected to a tap left turned on. If a fire happens it will melt the hose and fill the box with water automatically.. ?

Edited by Alex_from_NZ
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To be honest I think the whole battery flammability issue is way overblown.  How many phones, laptops, or other Li-ion devices have ever caught fire?  How many batteries are in a single EV like a Tesla 3?  How many people are building fireproof garages for them?  Yes, there have been manufacturing issues with some recalled phone models and batteries, but those are not the batteries we use.  The problems that plagued early hoverboards has also never been an issue for EUCs.  So it's just not something I'm going to lose any sleep over, as I recharge my batteries overnight.  

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1 hour ago, Alex_from_NZ said:

... and if the worst happens and it suddenly burst into flames fill the box with water and drown the unit. 

Please notice that euc's work with Lithium-Ion batteries and then check Youtube for 'Lithium in water reaction' and you will agree that water is the best solution for burning your house down way faster. When you assume that in most videos they use a small amount from only one or two cells then think about what power comes off from a pack that contains 80 or more cells.

A burning EUC is not very common - But I think it is possible to reduce the risk of fire a little bit by using a metal Box (but a heavy one like an big ammunition box) combined with something mineralic like sand or gypsum. The 'risk of fire' is not reduced but maybe the chance of not burning your house down is a little bit increased ... 

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7 hours ago, s.m. said:

Please notice that euc's work with Lithium-Ion batteries and then check Youtube for 'Lithium in water reaction' and you will agree that water is the best solution for burning your house down way faster. When you assume that in most videos they use a small amount from only one or two cells then think about what power comes off from a pack that contains 80 or more cells.

A burning EUC is not very common - But I think it is possible to reduce the risk of fire a little bit by using a metal Box (but a heavy one like an big ammunition box) combined with something mineralic like sand or gypsum. The 'risk of fire' is not reduced but maybe the chance of not burning your house down is a little bit increased ... 

Lithium-ion batteries have very minimal lithium metal in them (hence the ion), lithium-metal batteries are the ones to be super careful around water with.

The best way to stop a lithium-ion battery fire is to cool down the cells and keep them cool, this limits the burning to the damaged cells and stops further cells shorting. It also keeps the toxic smoke contained to the water for the most part.  And if somehow one of the cells did actually detonate the few tens of kgs of water will contain debris.

Look up how firefighters are trained to deal with lithium-ion fires. 

Edited by Alex_from_NZ
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5 hours ago, Thai-lad said:

To be honest I think the whole battery flammability issue is way overblown.  How many phones, laptops, or other Li-ion devices have ever caught fire?  How many batteries are in a single EV like a Tesla 3?  How many people are building fireproof garages for them?  Yes, there have been manufacturing issues with some recalled phone models and batteries, but those are not the batteries we use. The problems that plagued early hoverboards has also never been an issue for EUCs.

They have, much less frequently than hoverboards, but then very recently with the InMotion V10.

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A Tesla auto has 50 or 75 times the battery storage capacity of a typical 1kw EUC.  And they're shipping almost 1000 of them daily.  So I'll worry about my EUC batteries when I start hearing stories of hundreds of garages spontaneously combusting all over the US.  You're more likely to get struck by lightning while riding :P

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13 hours ago, Mono said:

They have, much less frequently than hoverboards, but then very recently with the InMotion V10.

Not saying they can't have problems, they clearly can.  But usually it comes down to a design error or manufacturing problem that is readily identified as belonging to a particular model or battery. If the V10 has that problem, and not just a one-off case, then it should be recalled.  I haven't followed InMotion so don't have an opinion on that.  On the other hand, the following response to a one-off event seems like an over-reaction:

-------

The city’s $6.4 million contract for the Vievu cameras set off a contentious debate in 2016 after it surfaced that other police departments had raised concerns about the cameras’ quality, and the city comptroller briefly blocked the deal. But the mayor and police officials defended their choice and moved forward with the plan. Vievu introduced the LE-5 in October 2017, listing among its features a lithium-ion battery that boasts more than 12 hours of recording time. The Police Department on Sunday said it would pull 2,990 of its LE-5 cameras after the explosion “revealed a potential for the battery inside the camera to ignite.”

“The cause and the scope of the defect are currently being investigated,” police officials said in a statement.

The officer was wearing the body camera during a midnight shift in the 121st Precinct on the northwestern shore of Staten Island when he noticed smoke coming from the bottom of the device late Saturday night, according to the Police Department. He was not injured when the body camera exploded, the police said. Officers who had been assigned the LE-5 cameras were told to immediately remove the devices and hand them in. 
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19 hours ago, Thai-lad said:

A Tesla auto has 50 or 75 times the battery storage capacity of a typical 1kw EUC.  And they're shipping almost 1000 of them daily.  So I'll worry about my EUC batteries when I start hearing stories of hundreds of garages spontaneously combusting all over the US.  You're more likely to get struck by lightning while riding :P

Of course, but the Tesla also has a lot more engineering and warranty/liability backing than the typical EUC manufacturer has.

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On 10/21/2018 at 6:03 AM, Thai-lad said:

 

Aluminum boxes will soften and then burst at the seams from the pressure (hot gas expands),  just as the aluminum cans that contain the battery electrolyte themselves do.  Even the halon extinguishers in airplane holds were largely unsuccessful in controlling the fires, doubt you could do much better in an aluminum box at home.   

A small oven like storage chamber built with cement blocks, equipped with a chimney and lined with fire brick might safely contain a battery fire.  Or perhaps a steel fireproof safe (though I'd be afraid it would also explode from internal pressure).  An aluminum box?  No way.

Aluminum is obviously not ideal, but you wouldn't design it to "burst", you'd design it to vent the hot gases in a safe direction. Basically, you want something like this, but on a larger scale:

http://www.bat-safe.com/web/

(obviously, they used steel and fiberglass, not aluminum)

Edited by GamingBarbecue256
typo
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If you really want a fireproofed enclosure, this is what you should look into:

https://www.zoro.com/3m-fire-barrier-plenum-wrap-50-ft-l-24-in-5a-24/i/G3529732/feature-product?gclid=Cj0KCQjwjbveBRDVARIsAKxH7vlzIVjyT1HcieJ23mbwG3nf0Cdgsxa_MInjcQ6CPnncfUBrJ6-tkP8aAnQEEALw_wcB

The fireproof box they sell I think is lined with this stuff, which expand when heated. Now this is design for fire separation and not explosions, so if any sort of extreme pressure differential is invovled; a whole different level of protection would be required.

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I thought about it and came up with a solution that would work for me. ( And I could, but never will build :angry:

Build a stand that holds the EUC. Have a smoke detector attached to the stand above the EUC. Build the stand to jettisons the EUC through a trap door in an exterior wall when activated by the smoke detector. In my case the wheel would end up burning harmlessly on my front walkway.............If it stopped rolling before it got to the drainage ditch.............. A few flaming dummy rounds might come in handy for solicitors!!    I just might build it after all !  :efef77eaf5:

All I need is: 

110vac smoke derector 

12’ 2x4 

door hinge

trap door with electric magnet lock 

4 trampoline springs. 

TKE governor reset solenoid 110vac ( to pull the pin and let the springs do their thing)

micro switch ( on hinge to deactivate magnet lock)

wire and wall plug.

UPS unit ( for backup) 

come to think of it I could use the hinge action to unlock the trap door instead of the electric magnet lock. B)

* fail state = no action. 

If I made the whole thing out of metal the stand itself could be the trap door. 

 

Edited by RockyTop
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11 minutes ago, RockyTop said:

 

I thought about it and came up with a solution that would work for me. ( And I could, but never will build :angry:

Build a stand that holds the EUC. Have a smoke detector attached to the stand above the EUC. Build the stand to jettisons the EUC through a trap door in an exterior wall when activated by the smoke detector. In my case the wheel would end up burning harmlessly on my front walkway.............If it stopped rolling before it got to the drainage ditch.............. A few flaming dummy rounds might come in handy for solicitors!!    I just might build it after all !  :efef77eaf5:

 

Lol Rocky! I need to throw together some artwork of this contraption.

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23 minutes ago, Rehab1 said:

Lol Rocky! I need to throw together some artwork of this contraption.

I can image my wife calling me at work. “ Honey?! ......  I burned your supper ..... and your EUC is in the ditch again..... sorry. “

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1 hour ago, RockyTop said:

TKE governor reset solenoid 110vac ( to pull the pin and let the springs do their thing)

I am using bungee cords for the springs and a solenoid myoelectric hand to pull the pin. :)

44612115825_112ee0ebd0_b.jpg

 

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  • 4 months later...

Hi there.

As the battery of EUC becomes bigger, the risk of having bigger fire related to battery is increasing.  

I'm trying to find a way to fireproof my charging station.

I was thinking about getting a metal cabinet, store and charge my EUC in it, and have a fire extinguisher that is activated by fire (similar to the one in the link) inside the cabinet in case it catches fire.

https://www.amazon.com/Extinguisher-Suppression-Device-Safety-Product/dp/B01JVXFQ6E/ref=sr_1_5?keywords=fire+extinguisher+ball&qid=1552319740&s=gateway&sr=8-5

 

what do you guys think?  have you done any work to fireproof your charging station?  if so, do you have any recommendations on how it should be setup?  

 

thanks guys.

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You can't extinguish a LiPo fire. You can only extinguish what burns around it. Don't make a completely closed cabinet. You'll make a bomb.

What you would require is the equivalent of a BattSafe (XL) box that hobbyists use to store their small LiPos. That contains the fire and has filters for the fumes, while not being airtight as to not create a bomb.

The safest however is simply charging outside on or in a non-flammable surface (e.g. bricks).

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2 minutes ago, ir_fuel said:

You can't extinguish a LiPo fire. You can only extinguish what burns around it. Don't make a completely closed cabinet. You'll make a bomb.

What you would require is the equivalent of a BattSafe (XL) box that hobbyists use to store their small LiPos. That contains the fire and has filters for the fumes, while not being airtight as to not create a bomb.

The safest however is simply charging outside on or in a non-flammable surface (e.g. bricks).

Thanks for the comment.  I have no other place to charge.  I can only charge in my garage....

 

hmm.  this is going to be a problem... :(

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1 minute ago, egress123 said:

hmm.  this is going to be a problem... :(

Only if you make it one :D

Don't forget we are dealing with batteries encased in round cells, not your average quadcopter pouch LiPos. I'm in the "fpv" community, and the euc community, and LiPo fires are in both communities extremely rare, and in the case of the FPV one usually related to either crashing battery packs (hard) in the ground, or undervoltage + trying to recharge them anyway.

Pouch LiPos are a lot more sensitive than the ones in the round cells. Also check the amount of wheels on this forum, the amount of miles ridden, the amount of charge cycles cumulated by all members. Set this next to the number of fires everyone has had here and you'll know how big the chances of this happening are.

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I thought about the same and decided it wasn't worth the investment given the low risk. I do however charge my wheels in the garage with the chargers on the cement floor.  Figure if a fire breaks out then I'll have some warning given my garage is detached. 

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25 minutes ago, Dzlchef said:

I thought about the same and decided it wasn't worth the investment given the low risk. I do however charge my wheels in the garage with the chargers on the cement floor.  Figure if a fire breaks out then I'll have some warning given my garage is detached. 

My garage is attached..  and I see those video clips of InMotion V10f on fire, I get quite nervous having my EUC charged overnight in my garage.

maybe a smoke alarm might be good enough for now.

 

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