Blog - Tests and diagnosis

A New Year’s Greeting with a Thermal Runaway

A New Year’s Greeting with a Thermal Runaway

10.Jan 2023
| Blog - Tests and diagnosis

Have you ever burnt the dish on the stove?  GWL Team has just begun the New Year with a similar experience caused by an improper cell operation.

As a result of a human operator failure and as a result of an improper setting of the charging machine, GWL team has just experience a thermal runaway for a 100AH cell

This cell was by mistake charged up to 5V with a current of 100A. After about 10 minutes of this brutal overcharge, the cell overheated and the electrical stress resulted to a thermal runaway. The vapors of the boiling electrolyte caused the safety vent to rupture the fumes into the test laboratory.

In fact, the operator was not present (another failure) and did not notice the event until smoke (fumes) from the overloaded cell caused the fire alarm. As a matter of fact, this situation serves a as warning lesson for the GWL Team, that all procedures need to be checked and the charging must be properly monitored.

We need to remind ourselves of the principles that we keep teaching our customers.

Form another point of view, this accident (properly called “the product mishandling”) proves that LFP cells are a safe technology. Even in this case of a massive (even brutal overcharge) there was not any explosion, not any fire, nor any fire-safety related situation. 

The most dangerous was the “smoke” of the overboiled electrolyte that had ruptured from the safety vent.  This “smoke” is not a smoke (as from a flame or fire), it is a visible gas vapor containing hazardous chemicals and toxic fluorine gases – see the hazards.  It is necessary to ventilate the room immediately and avoid breathing in these vapors.

From the point of view of the “product warranty” - This failure is not any case of the manufacturers warranty or liability. It is a 100% operation accident caused by “a mistake” of improper operation.  There is no warranty to be applied for this case.

This a fact some kind of is New Year greeting ???? and/or warning for the GWL Team and reminder to keep working safety – not only for our work but also for the customers.

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