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EV Fires

Posted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 9:21 am
by E30_Dave
Hi all,

Does anyone know what power cell chemistry was in use in the converted Nissan Qashqai, which caught fire during charging on the DFDS ferry "Pearl of Scandinavia", in 2010 ?

I ask, as having skimmed through some of the articles and comments on different forums, a number of possible causes have been conjectured, however this question doesn't appear to have arisen.

Re: EV Fires

Posted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 5:44 pm
by timpootle

40 KW/h Ion-lithium batteries from Dow-Kokam

Re: EV Fires

Posted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 5:48 pm
by GregsGarage
Any battery chemistry, including lead acid, can be involved in an EV fire. I wouldn't worry about what type of chemistry it was, instead try and understand all possible scenarios that could have occurred and then work out how to prevent those from happening to you. Nearly all EV fires are during unattended charging.

Re: EV Fires

Posted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 5:58 pm
by E30_Dave
True... and of course, that's exactly what happened in this case, but worse than that, even if the owner had had some means by which the BMS could have notified him (a pager or SMS to his mobile), he wold most likely not have been allowed on to the car deck whilst the vessel was at sea.

It would still be interesting to know though, as I've seen numerous comments from different people here, speaking out against Lithium Polymer cells... and I do wonder how many of the cars which have gone up in smoke were fitted with Li-Po cells, and had a system for...

a). shutting off the charge current...


b). keeping them cool.

Re: EV Fires

Posted: Wed Jul 24, 2013 7:36 am
by Beemer
The larger Kokams are not Lithium polymer (LiPo). However you are dead right about fires only happening while charging. They have been known to burst into flames slightly after the chargers knocked off too. All BMS related.
That car was mad, it had two Brusa chargers, cell voltages were set to the very top on charging. The fire meant all electric cars were banned on ferries... if I'm wrong there is no charging allowed anymore. The battery pack sat over all the mechanicals under the bonnet. When Nissan announcing it was going to make its own electric cars it was game over.

There is a surviving car. A couple of Dutch adventurers travelled around the world in it, mostly with a trailer carrying a generator with fuel. They did manage to lose it somehow but crossed the USA back to the EU ok.

Here's a video of the car and the intrepid explorers when they turned up to Jack Rickards EVTV via his blog. I know his blog has moved; scroll down some ;) ... -2011.html

Re: EV Fires

Posted: Wed Jul 24, 2013 4:21 pm
by E30_Dave
Very interesting, particularly Jacks Rickard's comments on the BMS used in the vehicle.

I still believe that one of the keys to safer charging is a means of cooling the cells, especially as they're invariable tightly packed into a space without adequate ventilation - and this is not so difficult a thing to achieve with a flat pouch-type cell.

Finally, Beemer please could you clarify your comment about Nissan, and "Game over" ?


Re: EV Fires

Posted: Wed Jul 24, 2013 4:35 pm
by Beemer
No way!
The cells shouldn't get hot at all! There is no way you should be able to overheat them on a charge unless its very high C rates indeed. i.e. a 50KW Chademo...(2C) Even though my pack has not showed any sign of heating up when charging with one.
If they get hot when charging its either the BMS attempting to set on fire or the cells are being overvolted.

Re: EV Fires

Posted: Wed Jul 24, 2013 4:38 pm
by Beemer
Oh Dave, sorry, The "game over" quote. Simple, no conversion shop can sell "as new" conversions at anything like the same price as a major manufacturer.