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Siemens unveils new whitepaper on fire safety in parking garages with electric vehicles


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Siemens has released a new whitepaper focusing on fire safety for electric vehicles and charging infrastructure in parking garages.

Available on the company’s website, this document reveals innovative approaches to fire detection and suppression, aiming to avoid catastrophic multi-vehicle fires that could endanger building stability.

Fire safety risks in electric vehicles

The risks associated with battery fires in electric vehicles (EVs) are at the forefront of this whitepaper.

An EV battery fire leads to a phenomenon known as “thermal runaway,” causing explosive combustion of the battery electrolyte vapor.

This intense heat, coupled with highly toxic smoke, has been known to cause multi-vehicle fires.

“Recent investigations indicate that high pressure water mist is effective when triggered by fast detection with Siemens ASA technology,” the document states, outlining the company’s methods for reducing these risks.

Protection targets and fire risk mitigation

The document presents clear protection targets, including minimising risk to garage occupants, preserving the structural integrity of the building, and reducing downtime following a fire.

The fire safety measures proposed include high pressure water mist systems that cool the surrounding environment, while allowing thermal runaway and battery electrolyte off-gassing to continue.

Fire suppression should be “triggered by fast detection using false alarm-free point detectors (Siemens ASA technology),” according to the paper.

Norms and standards in fire safety

The pace of change in electric mobility is outstripping the development of fire safety standards, but the risks are becoming well understood.

Siemens, in collaboration with Danfoss and supported by the Danish Institute of Fire and Security Technology (DBI), proposes approaches and product suggestions for risk mitigation for EV fires.

“Due to the special characteristics of EV battery fires, fire safety norms and standards are in development or revision,” the document explains. It also highlights the urgency in defining suitable protection targets and concepts for the rapidly evolving eMobility landscape.

IFSJ Comment

The detailed examination of fire risks and comprehensive protection strategies presented in Siemens‘ whitepaper provide crucial insights into an under-explored area of EV safety.

The integration of cutting-edge detection technology with proven suppression techniques offers a promising pathway for industry-wide adoption.

The collaborative investigations and practical proposals signify a positive step towards enhancing fire safety in parking garages with electric vehicles.

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