LG Chem Prepares to Apply Its Own Fire Prevention System

Nov 05, 2019

After Samsung SDI has started applying a special extinguishing system to its battery modules in order to prevent any more fire involving ESS (Energy Storage System), LG Chem is also preparing its own system for preventing fire.
According to relevant industries, LG Chem has developed its own fire prevention system based on perch water and obtained an international certification and is planning to supply the system to business sites that use ESS equipped with its batteries.
LG Chem’s fire prevention system is based on perch water method that installs type of a sprinkler per battery module. This system requires a separate water tank to be installed near a battery rack and pipes to be connected to each module that is placed behind of battery rack and it prevents thermal runaway by spraying water whenever smoke or heat is detected.
This system does not extinguish fire by spraying water directly at a battery module where there is fire, but it sprays water nearby cells in order to prevent temperature from rising and it ultimately blocks any possibility of large fire. If short circuit occurs within a battery due to an outside impact or a defect, temperature inside of a cell rises which then leads to thermal runaway and fire.
LG Chem obtained UL9540A certification, which is a testing method for assessing possibilities of fire occurring from thermal runaway, from an American testing certification agency called UL for its system.
“We are currently preparing to launch a fire prevention system and we are planning to minimize any risk of fire from spreading by applying the system as soon as we are finished with additional tests.” said a spokesperson for LG Chem. “However, we have not decided on any concrete schedule or method yet.”

ESS installed at LG Chem’s plant in Iksan <ESS installed at LG Chem’s plant in Iksan>

Samsung SDI launched its own fire prevention system that places a capsule-like component with special extinguishing chemical on top of a module and inserts a blocking medium that prevents heat from spreading between cells and it has started applying the system to every business site sequentially. Its system is also in compliance with UL9540A certification.
It is heard that Samsung SDI is investing up to $172 million (200 billion KRW) and spending about 7 to 8 months in order to install its system to about 1,000 business places in South Korea and carrying out actions to tighten safety measures.
Industries believe that LG Chem will also have to make huge investment and spend quite a long time before it is finished with installing water tanks and replacing battery racks so that it can start applying its system.
Besides the fire prevention system, LG Chem has also finished carrying out safety measures such as installment of module fuse, surge protector, and rack fuse to protect batteries from outside electric shock at current business sites. Also, it is conducting experiments and analysis on its own in order to find out the exact cause of fire by end of this month. In order to prevent additional fire from happening, SOC (State of Charge) of its batteries is set at 70%.
Staff Reporter Jung, Hyeonjung | iam@etnews.com

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