NYC PSA E-bike Battery Fires 11/11/22 NBC News

I've seen no test data that proves that ammo cans are safe for 8 to 25 ah LiIon battery fires.
Bulkhead electrical connectors are suitable for sheet metal, not 3/8" (1 cm) steel plate.
My wood stove is sheet metal, not 3/8" steel plate.
I realize the ammo cans are not sufficient to fully contain a battery fire, I use them more as a delaying tactic. I never charge unattended and always under a smoke alarm. If the alarm is triggered, hopefully, it will give me time to roll the dolly mounted cans out of the garage before the fire becomes too intense. I'm also looking at adding a fire resistant liner to the charging can. Perhaps something as simple as cement board would be an improvement.

I'm not sure why you say the bulkhead connectors are only suitable for sheet metal. If you look at the design of the ones I linked, they are long enough to use in 2" thick plate providing you can drill the necessary 15/16" hole.

Did you mean to say your wood stove is 3/8" plate and not sheet metal? I don't see where a sheet metal stove would be much safer than an ammo can.

As I said in my post, this plan isn't perfect but it's better than nothing.
 
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After reading what's been said here and also in the mainstream media, it seems to me that 99% of the fires would be totally eliminated if there was a UL certification process and that non-UL cells and equipment could not be sold. Then no need for extreme charging measures.
 
After reading what's been said here and also in the mainstream media, it seems to me that 99% of the fires would be totally eliminated if there was a UL certification process and that non-UL cells and equipment could not be sold. Then no need for extreme charging measures.
You stand a good chance of creating an issue with a frozen battery for instance, even if everything were all UL approved. The only way you would know that's not a real good plan is if you read the manual - which seems to be asking way too much from some users.

Then there's the folks experimenting/trying to build their own battery on a shoe string budget, or plugging a battery charger into a pack to "see if it will work".

My point is, there's no easy answers here......

A recent local news article had a pair of aged women living together in an (3rd story?) apartment. They barely managed to escape when their factor built elec. wheel chair battery caught fire, causing me to wonder how often we're going to see stuff like that happening. Yes, one end of that building was pretty much destroyed, by a factory built elec. wheel chair!
 
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One hope lies in future safer battery chemistries, in a similar way to how the DoD & NATO militaries replace older ordnance with insensitive munitions - you want them to go bang at the right time, not when you accidentally drop or heat them.
 
If you want to ride an E-bike, you will have to assume some risk when storing & charging batteries. Many threads here on EBR have outlined ways to mitigate this risk. They largely depend on budget (The ability to afford quality batteries & chargers), environment, DIY capabilities and a certain level of common sense.

Obviously, the safest way to charge is outdoors and away from anything flammable. Unfortunately, not everyone has the ability to do this consistently, mainly due to climate issues. The next best approach is to charge in a temperature controlled structure separate from the living area like a detached garage. Again, not everyone has this luxury.

In my case, I lack the ability to charge outdoors or in a detached garage. My only option is to do it in my attached garage / workshop. I use ammo cans to both store & charge. They are placed on a dolly, on a concrete floor under a smoke / fire / CO2 detector. I never charge when I'm not able to hear the alarm. The dolly can easily & quickly be rolled out of the building with a garden rake should an incident occur.

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Two of the ammo cans are used for storage and the third for charging. That one has bulkhead connectors installed which will let me charge 1 or 2 batteries with the can sealed. I rarely charge two at a time unless it is at a low current rate to minimize heat buildup.

I can connect 1 or 2 chargers as necessary. I use Satiators with XLR plugs and adapters but almost any charger and connector type can be used. The bulkhead connectors allow the cans to remain sealed to better contain a fire.

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Keep in mind, battery fires are relatively rare even when no precautions are taken. My system certainly isn't perfect but it does further reduce the risk of a catastrophe.
I'd be careful that in the case of a fire it can vent enough to release pressure or you may have a bomb on your hands that will spew shrapnel.
Not good enough to smother. A blanket designed for LiIon battery fires is a $500 investment. 60 cells burning is a lot hotter mass than weld splatter.
I've thought about this as well.
The blanket doesn't need to smother but just block the spread to any not so nearby combustibles.
Maybe deployed as a tent?
 
I'd be careful that in the case of a fire it can vent enough to release pressure or you may have a bomb on your hands that will spew shrapnel.
Good point.

Most people I know, that use these ammo cans for charging, just leave the lid on without latching it down. That way, smoke & fire will be contained until pressure lifts the lid to vent.
 
I'd be careful that in the case of a fire it can vent enough to release pressure or you may have a bomb on your hands that will spew shrapnel.

I've thought about this as well.
The blanket doesn't need to smother but just block the spread to any not so nearby combustibles.
Maybe deployed as a tent?
there are some good videos of the heavy blankets. They cut off oxygen as well.
Size:
Weight:
± 1.8x1.8 m | 5.9 x 5.9 ft.
± 8 kg | 17 lb. 10 oz.
 
How long will it be before hotels ban in room lithium battery charging?


In the cases above, modified chargers were at fault but hotel management would have no way of knowing what is being used. Their only option would be to ban the practice completely. I see this as a concern for many here, including myself, who travel with their e-bikes and charge in room.
 
How long will it be before hotels ban in room lithium battery charging?


In the cases above, modified chargers were at fault but hotel management would have no way of knowing what is being used. Their only option would be to ban the practice completely. I see this as a concern for many here, including myself, who travel with their e-bikes and charge in room.
I lost the link, but there is a food delivery company in the EU that uses a large fire safe for charging. I imagine as popularity grows well eventually see that infrastructure.

 
Oh gosh no! Latch but remove the rubber gasket so there is a release of pressure.
Interesting idea and worth considering, depending on the charging location.

In my case, I want any smoke to trigger the alarm as soon as possible so I can drag the rig outside. I'm not concerned about pressure buildup because the bulkhead connectors aren't sealed to the can and will allow some venting.

Wouldn't latching the can cause it to burst if the combustion were sudden and the gasses couldn't vent fast enough around the lid? Wouldn't it be better if the unlatched lid blew off instead? At least the force of the fire would be directed upward instead of spread out in all directions. Again, it depends on location.

All speculation I guess until it actually happens. Hopefully, none of us will ever find out.
 
Interesting idea and worth considering, depending on the charging location.

In my case, I want any smoke to trigger the alarm as soon as possible so I can drag the rig outside. I'm not concerned about pressure buildup because the bulkhead connectors aren't sealed to the can and will allow some venting.

Wouldn't latching the can cause it to burst if the combustion were sudden and the gasses couldn't vent fast enough around the lid? Wouldn't it be better if the unlatched lid blew off instead? At least the force of the fire would be directed upward instead of spread out in all directions. Again, it depends on location.

All speculation I guess until it actually happens. Hopefully, none of us will ever find out.
From the video I've seen these things can release what looks like a substantial amount of heat and gas quickly. And fire safes are built to keep fire out not in.... So venting would be a concern there as well especially if you are loading it with more than one battery without separation
 
And fire safes are built to keep fire out not in....
Mine is vented. And all I purchased while working were also vented.The commercial safes for Li-Ion that I've seen are designed to contain the fire and rob oxygen. I'm missing something here...
 
After the Florida hurricane this year , all of these flooded (electric) cars will hit the market are ticking time bombs exposed to salt water. They will likely be dried out and sold on the wholesale market. Buyer Beware
I wonder what the regulations are to reselling a flood exposed electrical car?
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From the video I've seen these things can release what looks like a substantial amount of heat and gas quickly. And fire safes are built to keep fire out not in.... So venting would be a concern there as well especially if you are loading it with more than one battery without separation
There is a difference between a fire safe and a flammable storage cabinet. A fire safe, or gun safe, is indeed designed to protect documents and valuables from a house fire. A flammable storage cabinet is similar to an ammo can and can help contain an internal fire.
 
I lost the link, but there is a food delivery company in the EU that uses a large fire safe for charging. I imagine as popularity grows well eventually see that infrastructure.

Hopefully, this will become a reality. I don't see every hotel installing one however.

Since my camping days are over, I now stay in a dozen different hotels during my regular bike trips. A hotel battery ban would severely limit my ability to continue the sport. In addition to charging in room, for security reasons, I often take the bike inside as well. What are the alternatives? Sure, I could securely lock the bike to the vehicle but there is still no way to charge batteries.

An extension cord out the hotel window perhaps? For security, most of the hotels I use don't have windows that open. I've checked and none have outside outlets. Using 2 chargers, it takes 4 to 5 hours to charge my two batteries. That's a long time to wait at a gas station, laundromat, grocery store, restaurant, etc.

Leave the vehicle engine running overnight and charge using the built in 12V to 120v inverter? That would create a vehicle theft issue, use a lot of gas and perhaps shorten the life of the engine.

Run a gas generator in my vehicle overnight? That raises more security concerns and could generate noise complaints.

Bring my ammo can rig for in room charging and hope the hotel will approve? Somehow, I doubt they would

I suppose I could plead ignorance, sneak the batteries in and charge in room anyway. I'd hate to break the rule / law and perhaps open myself up to a lawsuit should an incident occur.

I could carry enough charged batteries but for a 5 day trip, I'd need 10 batteries. It would be 20 batteries if my wife or brother is with me. That's a significant investment and probably not worth it to continue these drive / ride bike trips.

I could always get back into camping and buy an RV but there's another investment I'd rather avoid.

I guess there is no reason to strain my brain over a possible ban until it actually happens but any other hypothetical ideas would be welcome.
 
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The suggestion in this video by @Chris Nolte for regulating that power outlets and a battery charging safe be installed in building bike rooms is good, but more than new residential I’d like to see buildings that already have a bike room or bike storage in a parking garage or even at one or two spaces at an outdoor bike rack in front of a building, be retrofitted where possible. I bring my battery into my office during the day, for security and to charge at my desk. My workplace does not permit space heaters, I’d hate to see batteries similarly banned without alternative facilities.
 
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Mine is vented. And all I purchased while working were also vented.The commercial safes for Li-Ion that I've seen are designed to contain the fire and rob oxygen. I'm missing something here...
I don't know... but I'd find out and wouldn't ASSume.
Maybe I'm mistaken but I thought they cant
Hopefully, this will become a reality. I don't see every hotel installing one however.

Since my camping days are over, I now stay in a dozen different hotels during my regular bike trips. A hotel battery ban would severely limit my ability to continue the sport. In addition to charging in room, for security reasons, I often take the bike inside as well. What are the alternatives? Sure, I could securely lock the bike to the vehicle but there is still no way to charge batteries.

An extension cord out the hotel window perhaps? For security, most of the hotels I use don't have windows that open. I've checked and none have outside outlets. Using 2 chargers, it takes 4 to 5 hours to charge my two batteries. That's a long time to wait at a gas station, laundromat, grocery store, restaurant, etc.

Leave the vehicle engine running overnight and charge using the built in 12V to 120v inverter? That would create a vehicle theft issue, use a lot of gas and perhaps shorten the life of the engine.

Run a gas generator in my vehicle overnight? That raises more security concerns and could generate noise complaints.

Bring my ammo can rig for in room charging and hope the hotel will approve? Somehow, I doubt they would

I suppose I could plead ignorance, sneak the batteries in and charge in room anyway. I'd hate to break the rule / law and perhaps open myself up to a lawsuit should an incident occur.

I could carry enough charged batteries but for a 5 day trip, I'd need 10 batteries. It would be 20 batteries if my wife or brother is with me. That's a significant investment and probably not worth it to continue these drive / ride bike trips.

I could always get back into camping and buy an RV but there's another investment I'd rather avoid.

I guess there is no reason to strain my brain over a possible ban until it actually happens but any other hypothetical ideas would be welcome.
From your article... this says a lot....
Our cabinets are constructed using multiple layers of fireproof insulation materials housed in metal casings. Special intumescent seals, fitted to all gaps between the doors and the frames, expand when exposed to heat or fire, hermetically sealing the cabinet. They are built to an extremely sturdy construction, with the finished cabinets weighing between 250 and 450kgs when empty,” says Les, explaining the basic build required to contain what can become an uncontrollable fire.

For now I wouldn't stress about it. I'd bet statistically more fires occur in hotels (or anywhere else for that matter) from smoking.
And you for sure take a more conscientious approach than most.
 
I don't know... but I'd find out and wouldn't ASSume.
Maybe I'm mistaken but I thought they cant
Maybe...
But it's still not a great solution, just maybe a few-minute buffer for the fire department.
About 5 minutes to my basement for them.

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