Fire and gas explosion in battery room of Norwegian ferry prompts lithium-ion power warning 

Posted: October 25, 2019 by oldbrew in Energy, flames, News, Travel

Another hybrid ferry

Anyone fancy a hybrid-electric cruise after reading this?

Norwegian authorities are warning shipowners and operators about the dangers associated with lithium-ion battery systems after a fire and subsequent gas explosion on board a diesel-electric ferry in Norway.

The small fire was reported October 10 in the battery room of the Norled passenger ferry MF Ytterøyningen, reports

The ferry returned to harbor under its own power where passengers and crew were evacuated to land.

Overnight, however, a serious gas explosion rocked the battery room causing significant damage.

Norwegian broadcasting company NRK reported that twelve firefighters were taken to the hospital for exposure to hazardous gases associated with the batteries.

“The Norwegian Maritime Authority recommends that all shipowners with vessels that have battery installations, carry out a new risk assessment of the dangers connected to possible accumulations of explosive gases during unwanted incidents in the battery systems,” the Norwegian Maritime Authority said in statement.

Alternatively, British Columbia-based, Corvus Energy, which supplied the ferry’s battery system, has issued recommendations to operators not to sail without communication between the shipboard energy management system and the battery packs, as well as what to do in case of a gas release or “thermal runaway situation”.

Thermal runaway occurs when lithium-ion cell temperatures exceed the thermal runaway threshold, resulting in the sudden release of flammable, toxic gases and excessive heat that could result in an explosion.

Full report here .
– – –
Further discussion at gCaptain: Safety Concerns for Hybrid & Electric Ships – sponsored link by SPBES.

  1. hunterson7 says:

    Climate kooks are dangerous. Their ideas ignore basic chemistry and physics and put us all at risk.

  2. Coeur de Lion says:

    Most of a lifetime at sea in steam and diesel driven ships tells me that they are dangerous enough without making them worse.

  3. Dave Ward says:

    “As well as what to do in case of a gas release or “thermal runaway situation”

    Since the only way of (eventually) putting out lithium battery fires is to immerse them in a large container of water, I suggest the crew arrange a speedy evacuation of all on board, and then open the seacocks….

  4. ilma630 says:

    Shut off the fuel to diesel engine and it stops and cools down. A thorium molten salt nuclear reactor would be safer than these batteries, as it too would naturally cool once the fuel was removed.

  5. ilma630 says:

    David Ward: Perhaps these ships should have emergency release battery packs – out of the bottom/hull of the ship. That would ‘immerse them in a large container of water’ called the ocean. Problem is, the greenies would then complain about the ‘pollution’, and the ship operators would have a huge battery replacement bill. Something tells me this whole battery powered ship thing is probably a non-starter.

  6. tallbloke says:

    Wait until theu start building battery powered planes….

  7. oldbrew says:

    TB – they already have…

  8. gseine says:

    I can imagine what the reaction would have been had this happened in a nuclear plant. 450 facilities would be shuttered for 2 years.

  9. ivan says:

    And people drive around sitting on top of such battery packs, at least the gullible green eco-loons do.

    Maybe there should be a complete health and safety review of this type of battery.

  10. oldbrew says:

    Lithium battery: induced short circuit…stand well back 😮

  11. MrGrimNasty says:

    I’ve been saying they are dangerous for years.

    You have thousands of cells linked together and everyone of those hard-soldered connections is a potential fault – shorts and heat, as well as cell generated heat from overwork/charging.

    I had a lithium battery let go in a power drill as it was auguring through a tough oak beam, it was fortunate the explosion through the case was away from me, else I would have been seriously hurt.

    The Ocado robot warehouse fire shows how hard these fires are to control.

    A lot of cars will burn down homes in the night, and a lot of people will be cremated in their own cars, before this ‘green’ nonsense is over and done.

  12. Gamecock says:

    ‘A thorium molten salt nuclear reactor’

    That may be the most ignorant thing I ever read.

  13. Gamecock says:

    Note that the problem is not diesel-electric. The problem is these specific batteries.

    Conventional electric boats – submarines – do not have the diesel engines connected to the drive. They simply run generators which charge batteries, and the drive motors are powered by the batteries.

    Same with diesel train engines.

    These have been in use for nearly a hundred years.