Lithium-ion batteries are relatively easy to process yet offer high performance. That is why they are used in more and more devices. However, there is one drawback: if they overheat, it can lead to a fire. The Samsung group experienced this in 2016 with its alleged flagship phone, the Galaxy Note 7: because the batteries kept catching fire, the model eventually had to be scrapped completely. In theory, electric cars can also catch fire if the battery overheats. Until now, manufacturers have mainly relied on intelligent battery management. If there is a danger of overheating, the system voltage is reduced. The company Job Group near Hamburg, on the other hand, takes a slightly different approach. There they developed a small mini fire extinguisher that is no bigger than a one-euro piece and can be easily installed in electrical appliances.
Escaping gas nips the fire in the bud
How it works is relatively simple: it is a very robust glass ampoule that breaks at a certain temperature. As a result, a gas is specifically released, which immediately extinguishes the fire. In addition, the power supply is interrupted so that no consequential damage occurs. The vehicle can then of course no longer be steered in the first instance. But it doesn’t go up in flames, either. Ideally, there is no total loss, but a relatively small and recoverable defect. The fire brigade should also be happy. Putting out an electric car that is completely on fire takes an enormous amount of time. The same applies to the subsequent correct removal. In one respect, however, the data situation at the moment makes everything clear: in principle, fires in e-cars are no more likely than in vehicles with combustion engines. Still, it would of course be good if the chance could be further reduced by the e-bulb.
Household appliances can also be secured in this way
The small fire extinguisher is also versatile and can be installed in almost all electrical appliances due to its small size. If desired, the temperature at which the glass ampoule bursts can also be varied. In addition to cars, the manufacturer also considers household appliances as possible applications. Similar safety measures already exist here, for example with washing machines. The so-called AquaStop prevents uncontrolled water leakage and water damage. The E-Bulb could do the same for fire protection in the future. According to the manufacturer, the product is therefore of great importance to the industry. Discussions are underway with several car manufacturers who are considering installing the small fire extinguisher as standard. In turn, it can already be found in various household appliances and contributes to better fire protection.