Tag Archives: fire suppression

Dafo Li-IonFire tackles electric/hybrid vehicle fire protection

Dafo Vehicle Fire Protection has helped build a fire protection system tailored for operations using electric or hybrid vehicles as part of an EU-funded program.

In partnership with RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, Dafo explored different techniques to detect potential battery failure, as early as possible, and take immediate action to stop, or delay, a potentially hazardous situation.

The partners studied the various fire risks related to batteries, including specific risks when charging, and procedures for handling electric vehicles and batteries after a crash. They also investigated to what extent fixed and integrated fire suppression systems, which are widely used to protect combustion engine compartments on heavy vehicles, can be applied to vehicles powered by lithium-ion batteries, and how they should be designed.

“With the rapid introduction of electric and hybrid electric vehicles in public transport, there are new challenges because they present totally different risk scenarios,” Anders Gulliksson of Dafo Vehicle (pictured), Coordinator of the EU-funded Li-IonFire (Automated e-vehicle Lithium Ion Battery Early Warning and Fire Suppression System) project, said.

Through extensive testing, the Li-IonFire team better understood how a breakdown occurs within the battery and how it can be detected.

“If a system is activated at this early stage, the battery can be ‘brought back’ to a safe state, without the fire developing further,” Gulliksson explained.

“The tests have also shown that even with a late deployment of the fire suppression system, there’s a possibility of delaying the battery reaching a critical state, meaning that the chance of safe evacuation is very high.”

With proper detection and system activation, the hazardous scenario can be reversed and potentially even stopped entirely, according to Dafo.

The project team has, it says, successfully validated and demonstrated a highly innovative fire protection system for electric and hybrid electric vehicles. The new system provides an early fire warning system, and spot cooling to prevent thermal runaway while localising and suppressing fire.

The system was officially unveiled in 2019 and has generated tremendous interest from both end users and vehicle manufacturers, according to Dafo.

“Li-IonFire delivers to the market a product that didn’t exist until now; a system that can offer real protection against battery fires, using a new suppression agent, Forrex EV™, which is specifically developed for these applications,” concluded Gulliksson.

“Li-IonFire will significantly boost the safety of operators and the protection of valuable assets.”

It will be available from September 1, 2020, the company says.

iRIS innovation project putting out fires in Sweden mines

Since the launch of the iRIS (Intelligent Risk Identification System for safer mines) innovation project, 5,000-10,000 controls have been distributed to the Swedish market, according to EIT Raw Materials.

The iRIS innovation project started back in 2015 when the GRAMKO (Mining Industry Environment Committee) initiated a meeting following the release of statistics on vehicle-related fires in Swedish mines. The project was further developed and supported by the EIT RawMaterials funding, with the committee represented in the innovation project by the mines of Boliden, LKAB, Björkdalsgruvan and Zinkgruvan.

EIT Raw Materials, which helped fund the official launch of iRIS in Sweden, in January, said: “The goal of the innovation project iRIS is to decrease the number of vehicle-related fires in the mining industry by 20% within the first five-year period. The iRIS inspection tool and the database will be open for use in other fields as well. In order to make it easier to evaluate the future effect of implementing the iRIS system, evaluation indicators are currently under development.”

EIT RawMaterials says the project has since developed educational material for both educators of inspectors and vehicle fire inspectors, with the project team currently working on a certification system to be introduced later this year.

The estimated cost for fires in Swedish mines is €2 million/y ($2.2 million/y), most of which start in vehicles, according to EIT. “Initial studies show similar problems in other countries. Hence, this is a tremendous potential market expansion and commercialisation for a system like iRIS.”

Currently, there are three other potential markets that could benefit from the iRIS intelligent system, such as construction equipment, bus and insurance sectors, EIT said.

The system will now be licensed to create business opportunities for the project partners, with SMEs being sub-suppliers for the mining industry. This should lead to “a safer, more sustainable and more cost-effective mine”, EIT said.

From a national perspective, the iRIS system will include mandatory use of the inspection and reporting tools for necessary information, in the case of fires within the GRAMKO jurisdiction in Sweden.

The team is now moving on to an innovation project FIREM-II (Fire and Rescue in Mines II), which focuses on a combination of wearable technology and wheel loaders aiming to put out fires in underground mines, it said.

The members of the iRIS innovation project consortium includes:

  • RISE Research Institutes of Sweden AB, Sweden (Lead Partner);
  • Agio System och Kompetens AB, Sweden;
  • Aptum AB, Sweden;
  • Björkdalsgruvan AB (Mandalay Resources), Sweden;
  • Boliden Mineral AB, Sweden;
  • DMT GmbH & Co. KG, Germany;
  • Luleå University of Technology (LTU), Sweden;
  • Luossavaara-Kiirunavaara AB (LKAB), Sweden;
  • RISE Research Institutes of Sweden Holding AB, Sweden;
  • SMP Svensk Maskinprovning AB, Sweden;
  • Zinkgruvan Mining AB (Lundin Mining Corporation), Sweden.

Dafo Vehicle fired up by Australia mobile equipment certification

Dafo Vehicle Fire Protection has made significant progress in its attempts to break into the Australia mobile equipment market with its SV-K fire suppression system after being awarded the AS 5062 certification by regulators in the country.

The company said it has fulfilled the requirements of the Australian Standard AS 5062:2016 – Fire protection for mobile and transportable equipment for the system and it has been granted with a Certificate of Approval by the Certification Body Global-Mark.

At this stage, the certificate has been issued under the name of Dafo Vehicle Fire Protection’s Australian partner, BFI Fire Pty Ltd/Dafo Australia.

Dafo has sold more than 100,000 fire suppression systems to manufacturers such as Volvo, Atlas Copco, Caterpillar, Scania, Sandvik, Komatsu, MAN, John Deere and Ponsse, but has so far struggled to break into the Australia mobile equipment sector.

Holger Pfriem, Business Manager, Asia and Australasia, Dafo Vehicle Fire Protection AB, said: “This is a big step for us to make more impact on the Australian Heavy-Duty Mobile Equipment market mainly within the areas of mining, cargo, construction, forestry, waste and agricultural handling equipment in a broader and more comprehensive perspective.”

David Thurn, Managing Director of Dafo Australia, meanwhile, said the company was confident the AS 5062 certification will facilitate the expansion of its business in Australia. “As a second step we will soon launch a fluorine-free agent,” he added.