RENO, NV / ACCESSWIRE / December 5, 2023 / In recent years, there has been a concerning and increasing number of lithium-ion battery fires, posing a significant threat to communities. In November, a tragic incident occurred in Brooklyn, where members of three generations of a family lost their lives in a blaze caused by a lithium-ion battery used to power an electric scooter. According to FDNY officials, the ignited battery created a "wall of fire" that made it extremely challenging for residents to escape the building.
The sheer volume of fire generated from lithium-ion batteries creates highly dangerous conditions not only for residents attempting to evacuate but also for firefighters trying to contain and extinguish the flames. The intensity and speed at which these fires can spread pose a significant risk to both life and property. In this particular incident, three relatives were critically injured and later pronounced dead, while 14 others sustained injuries. Even one firefighter suffered serious injuries during the rescue operation. Unfortunately, this incident is just one in a series of recent lithium-ion battery fires.
The New York City Fire Department commissioner, Laura Kavanaugh, was not shy to call out private industry as culprits in this tragedy. She even went so far as to name Amazon, Walmart, Grubhub and Uber Eats as among those responsible due to those companies' lack of adherence to regulations that would prevent the sale of products with untested batteries.
The incident serves as a stark reminder of the need for proper precautions and adherence to safety regulations when it comes to the use and storage of lithium-ion batteries. As the commissioner alluded to, oftentimes lithium-ion batteries are imported from foreign countries that have less stringent regulations. Hazmat shipping is required to ship within the U.S., but it is expensive and unfortunately, a lot of battery imports go under the radar. For consumers to truly trust lithium-ion batteries, manufacturers must ensure that their lithium-ion batteries meet rigorous safety standards to prevent further incidents that may endanger lives and properties.
One company that is laying the foundation for best safety practices in the industry is Dragonfly Energy Corp. (NASDAQ:DFLI), and a look at the company's safety practices provides insight into the types of standards that manufacturers should look into to help ensure safety. While Dragonfly Energy does not yet cater to electric vehicle or consumer electronic markets, it is a leading manufacturer of deep-cycle lithium-ion batteries that has a history of prioritizing testing and certificates of safety. The company designs and assembles its batteries in the United States today and is driving research and development initiatives towards the development of a domestically manufactured non-flammable solid-state battery solution.
Dragonfly Energy works hard to prove its dedication to manufacturing batteries that are not only reliable but also safe. To achieve this, they put their batteries through rigorous testing procedures to ensure their quality and safety. These tests examine how the batteries respond to various conditions such as overcharging, over-discharging, short circuits, temperature changes, and mechanical shocks.
By subjecting their batteries to extensive electrical abuse testing, Dragonfly Energy can identify potential hazards and design safety measures to prevent accidents or malfunctions. These tests are crucial in evaluating the batteries' performance and ensuring that they meet industry standards for safety. The company performs other essential tests, such as Shock Tests, Drop Tests, Vibration tests and comprehensive assessments of the Battery Management System (BMS).
In line with their commitment to safety, Dragonfly Energy has made significant strides in the development of non-flammable lithium-ion batteries. By focusing on this area of research, they are actively working to reduce the risks associated with traditional lithium-ion batteries, such as fire hazards. Through their dedicated efforts, Dragonfly Energy aims to create batteries that are even safer for everyday use. The company's progress in this field was marked by an announcement of a patent earlier this year, indicating that they are making tangible advancements in the development of non-flammable lithium-ion battery technology. If successful, their technology could become instrumental in the next generation of lithium-ion batteries.
Battery brands that fail to conduct rigorous testing and certification processes risk releasing unsafe and potentially dangerous products onto the market. Without proper testing, electric vehicles and other battery brands may fail to take into account real-world scenarios and user environments, which could impact the functionality and safety of their products. While it is inspiring to see organizations like the FDNY campaign for lithium-ion battery safety regulations, manufacturers should be taking the necessary precautions from the get-go. However, part of the solution also lies in supporting American businesses, like Dragonfly Energy, that must adhere to stricter regulations; and in the case of Dragonfly Energy, not only adhering to these regulations but going above and beyond to test beyond the required amount to ensure community safety.
Featured photo by Денис Марчук from Pixabay.
Sioban Hickie, ICR, Inc.
SOURCE: Dragonfly Energy
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