A new device called Intellivent has been developed that reduces the risk of battery explosions.
It has been developed at the US Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL).
The device is installed in cabinet-style battery enclosures. It responds to heat, smoke or gas alarms in the enclosure and automatically opens cabinet doors to prevent flammable gases building up and causing explosions.
PNNL has stated that when lithium-ion batteries reach a critical temperature, the liquid electrolyte inside can release toxic, flammable gases such as hydrogen, carbon monoxide and methane. These gases can lead to explosions.
Intellivent is considered by PNNL to be a step in the right direction in protecting firefighters and utility personnel.