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Holger Pfriem

Dafo Vehicle Fire Protection, Business Manager

Marcello Sanchez

Dafo Vehicle Fire Protection, Business Manager

Fredrik Rosén

Dafo Vehicle Fire Protection, Business Manager

EV and HEV

Advanced fire protection of heavy vehicles

In the mining industry, safety has always been a crucial issue - not least when it comes to fire. Therefore, Dafo is investing heavily in fire safety in the mining industry.

Fires in vehicles often have a very intense development and are difficult to extinguish with a portable fire extinguisher. With the right dimensioned automatic fire suppression system, you get quick and effective protection that limits the consequences of a fire - which can be extra important in a mine. Fire protection in heavy vehicles such as mining machines places high demands on both equipment and durability.

The vehicles really get to operate in the toughest of environments, not least because of dust, the vibrations and the extreme temperatures they are exposed to. Therefore, we offer high-tech customized solutions with associated service agreements.

The complexity is so extensive that Dafo Vehicle Fire Protection's experts are also involved and assist in the design and planning of the vehicles of the manufacturer, to create well-integrated and efficient solutions. From the industry side, fire safety is often seen as a crucial issue and an important part of the sustainability work.

Right now, development is particularly important as we are facing a significant transition in terms of machine fuel. There is extensive electrification in the mining industry as well, and it places new demands on the fire protection equipment to some extent. A battery that catches fire through thermal runaway is not the same as the more traditional fires in diesel or gasoline-powered vehicles. Dafo is placing a lot of focus in this area right now.

Dafo Vehicle has launched a fire protection system for electric and hybrid vehicles that is activated before a fire in a battery occurs. The fire protection solution has been developed for buses but will also be available for other heavy electric vehicles.

Low, or non-existent emissions, cost-efficient operation and reduced noise levels are some of the major advantages of hybrid and electric vehicles today but the disadvantages of the technology, when something goes wrong, are less known. Fires in lithium-ion batteries of electric vehicles usually have rapid progress and are very difficult to extinguish.

Dafo Vehicle has followed the vehicle development closely and seen an increased need for fire protection as more electrified vehicles are being introduced to the market. Dafo Vehicle was concerned early on regarding the potential fire risks and dangers this technology would bring, which meant that we also started looking at solutions to meet the development.

Dafo Vehicle is today alone in the market to offer a complete fire protection system for electric and hybrid vehicles. The patented and award-winning extinguishing system was developed through the EU-funded research project Li-IonFire and initially aimed at electrified buses in public transport. The Dafo system is an advanced fire suppression system with a fire prevention part integrated into the system. This means that the system can detect any temperature changes in the lithium ion battery at an early stage and cool it down before reaching the critical "thermal runaway" state, which can result in the battery starting to burn and a fully developed fire occur.

Today there are no successful methods to extinguish a battery that has already caught fire and entered the thermal runaway stage, after an overcharge or vehicle collision. If the battery starts to burn, the highly toxic gas emits hydrogen fluoride (HF), which can cause serious damage to both the skin and the respiratory tract.

 

Dafo Vehicle Fire Protection was chosen as an Innovation Label Winner at Busworld Europe 2019. The Innovation Label by Busworld Awards rewards INNOVATIVE products and services at Busworld Europe. The Innovation label was rewarded to Dafo Vehicle Fire Protection’s research Li-IonFire which is one of the most advanced research projects funded under the EU Framework Program for Research and Innovation – H2020 – under the SME Funding Scheme.

 

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