Fire Suppression for Electric Vehicles
Frequently Asked Questions
Fogmaker’s fire suppression system uses a fine water-based mist that turns into steam and expands as it assimilates heat from a fire. The mist chokes the fire and cools the area. Cooling is very important to prevent re-ignition.
Most popular question: How do I know if Fogmaker would work for my vehicle or machine?
We protect all sorts of vehicles and other enclosed spaces, and make a risk assessment for each to ensure high-risk areas are covered. Get in touch with us or one of our partners and we’ll help you.
Q: Can you really mix electricity and water?
Water mist isn’t considered conductive. In addition electric vehicles are constructed to withstand humidity, rain, road splash, etc and have a lot of protection for the high voltage parts.
Fogmaker’s mist will not penetrate components with an IP class of IP66 or higher, and a lower IP grade can also be possible, depending on the nozzle angle, flow, and distance.
Q: What if the IP-enclosure is damaged?
Every vehicle or machine owner is responsible for repairing damaged critical parts, otherwise the vehicle/machine isn’t safe to use. A fire could naturally damage the IP protection, but in those cases the fire will most likely cause more damage than the water mist will.
Q: Isn’t it better to use a powder or other dry fire suppressant?
Over the last ten years, the recommendation for fire suppressing agents for electric vehicles have gone from dry or gaseous to wet agents. The cooling effect of water is one of the main reasons.
Q: Don’t batteries cause a lot of fires?
It’s natural to associate fire in electric vehicles with the batteries, but statistics presented at the 2023 FIVE conference show 50-60% of EV fires never involve the battery. The fire didn’t start in the battery or spread to it before it was put out. There are more and higher risks in an electric vehicle than the battery.
Is it possible to put out a lithium-ion battery fire?
Extinguishing a fire in a lithium-ion battery is possible but very difficult. The cells are hard to reach – the fire suppression system is installed outside the battery pack and the suppressant can’t reach the cells inside. Another reason is that a cell in thermal runaway burns very hot and quickly.
Q: Won’t the release of water mist in an electric compartment lead to people getting electrocuted?
This is very unlikely, for multiple reasons:
- Water mist isn’t considered conductive.
- The protected areas aren’t inside the vehicle. There aren’t any people in the vicinity.
- To get current through your body, you need to be part of the circuit. That is, you need to make physical contact with both the positive and negative terminals. It’s the same principle that allows birds to sit on a power line – they aren’t part of a closed circuit.
- The vehicle’s Battery Management System has many safety features to protect from dangerous currents.
Q: Why would a battery catch fire?
There are mainly two reasons for a vehicle battery to start burning: collision and external fire.
A fire suppression system can’t protect against collisions, but it can prevent a fire from reaching the battery pack. It is important to make a risk assessment to identify fire risks, and in some applications, it can be an option to protect the battery pack by shielding it with water mist. This approach can prevent or delay an external fire from reaching the battery pack, and in the unlikely event of a fire originating inside the battery, the mist can give time to safely leave the vehicle.