How to Safely Handle Lithium Phosphate Batteries? Lithium Phosphate (LiFEPO4) batteries have been proven to be safe and highly effective for energy storage applications.
However, there are specific safety considerations to be aware of when it comes to handling, shipping and storing Lithium batteries.
While it’s rare to occur, low-grade industrial Lithium batteries without a proper Battery Management System (BMS) can be prone to igniting or exploding if overheated or damaged.
By using high-quality Lithium batteries with a correctly designed BMS and adhering to necessary precautions, Lithium batteries are extremely safe to use.
In this blog, the experts at Valen take you through valuable safety advice for handling Lithium batteries.
Which battery is right for my application?
It’s important to note the following precautions should be practiced in addition to standard safety measures for handling VRLA batteries as well as any extreme precautions recommended by the Lithium battery manufacturer of your product.
General Tips for the Safe Handling of Lithium Batteries
- DO NOT short-circuit the battery. While the BMS (Battery Management System) is designed to handle peak current delivery; the initial discharge current could be very high and damage the internal cells.
- Never disassemble a Lithium battery or the internal battery cells. Disassembling may cause internal short-circuiting within the cell generating gas, fire and the risk of an explosion along with voiding the warranty.
- DO NOT incinerate or dispose of the cells in a fire. Fire may cause an explosion of the cells. For advice on recycling and how to recycle Lithium batteries, contact Valen.
- Battery or cell replacement should only be completed by a suitably qualified technician.
- DO NOT allow the battery to become subject to any force which could cause damage. Don’t use batteries or cells if physical damage is present. Damage may be evident by deformation, a gash or cut in the case.
- DO NOT allow the batteries to come into contact with water or any other liquid. Any contact may damage the protection circuit resulting in incorrect charging and, consequently, overheating, and the explosion of fire.
- In the event of a fire, if possible, move the burning object outside. If safe, extinguish with plenty of water.
- DO NOT store, operate or charge a Lithium battery in areas where it could come in contact with a direct heat source.
- Beware of fake or modified batteries as these may have missing or unsafe components such as the BMS (Battery Management System), exposing the user to significant risk.
- Mains power charging Lithium batteries: always charge the Lithium battery with a specially designed Lithium Battery Charger. Failure to do so may cause the battery to undercharge, swell, rupture or explode.
For more information, see our blog, can I use the same charger for VRLA batteries and Lithium batteries?
- Solar charging Lithium batteries: always ensure the solar charge controller has been modified to accept the Lithium battery technology.
- Always ensure there is adequate airflow available around the Lithium battery when installing or storing as this will prevent the battery from overheating.
- A Lithium battery is customised, so it is best to ensure that the BMS is correctly specified for your application for maximum benefits and safety reasons.
- It is essential to ensure you have a low voltage disconnection programmed into the BMS on the battery. Without this feature, the cell may be over-discharged to an extremely low voltage rendering the cell useless. A thermal detection disconnect device is recommended in case the battery does overheat for any reason.
- Always refer to the Lithium battery manufacturer’s Installation & Operation (I&O) manual before operating, installing or storing.
Need extra advice on how to safely handle Lithium batteries? Just ask us!
Reach out to the team at Valen who will be happy to look at your system and recommend a complete UPS and battery solution for you!
For more expert help and advice, talk to one of our knowledgeable team members by calling 1300 734 253. Or simply click here to contact us.