BOAT International Media recently reported on the MCA’s new guidelines for yacht toys and tenders, and guidance for crew on how to handle their batteries, an important topic that OCEAN PREMIUM has been conveying to yacht crew in our water toy workshops. Ocean Premium’s Tracey Boston spoke to Fisacon, a company leading the development of fully certified, safety storage boxes for yacht toy lithium batteries. They are the world’s only active charging + storing boxes for lithium-ion batteries, approved and certified by the German DMT TÜV Nord.
Q & A with Rainer DANIEL CEO, FISACON GmbH Part One:
Q: What exactly happens in a thermal runaway?
A: In a thermal runaway in a battery, several things happen at the same time:
1. Within a very short time, the battery burns and temperatures of +800°C are generated
2. Hydrocarbon explosions occur
3. A highly toxic smoke-gas mixture with hydrofluoric acid is formed. This acid is one of the most aggressive there is. It enters the body through the skin, causing no pain, but even small amounts are lethal. Even many firefighters are usually unaware of this
4. Cells are thrown out of the battery at a speed of up to 300 m/sec, which corresponds to a projectile.
Q: Do all lithium batteries cause a thermal runaway?
A: Internal manufacturer information says that every 10,000th cell is defective.
This does not mean that they all will cause a thermal runaway, but it is possible.
Q: What is the main concern or possible danger of a lithium-ion battery fire on the sea? A: It takes the longest time for rescue. Getting out of a yacht hundreds or even thousands of nautical miles from land can only be done in the water and that can become a disaster.
Q: Why did you develop the active RACLAN Box?
A: Our most important goal was to protect life and limb. For this reason, we have put more effort into development than any other company in this field.
Today, experts from fire brigades, insurance companies and even the maritime industry tell us that there is no safer box for charging and storing lithium-ion batteries than ours.
In Part 2, we will tell you the special features of these boxes, and will provide some simple tips on handling and storing your e-foil batteries correctly.
In Part 1 of our reporting of the new MCA guidelines for yacht water toys and tenders, effective June 2023, we spoke about lithium-ion battery fires and their effects, with an authority in the field, Rainer Daniel of Fisacon Ltd. Here, in Part Two, we will share a few simple tips that yacht crew can utilize to greatly reduce the risk of incidents with the batteries in their water toys, as well as recommend solutions for fire prevention.
Remember, your water toys are luxury assets of the yacht and should be maintained just as you would maintain any other part of the vessel…with a high degree of care. Your toys pose no threat if carefully maintained, so continue to enjoy the benefits of having them aboard for the owner and guests.
7 Tips for crew for the handling and storage of lithium-ion batteries for their e-foils:
Be observant…be vigilant… Check regularly for any signs of erosion or damage to the battery. According to the MCA, “If you notice any of the following; hissing, whistling, or popping, a possible sweet chemical smell, then black “smoke” (nanoparticles of heavy metals, not smoke) then white vapour coming from the Li-ion battery or the watercraft generally, assume that it is heating and take appropriate firefighting measures.”
● Be observant…be vigilant… Check regularly any signs of erosion or damage to the battery. According to the MCA, “If you notice any of the following; hissing, whistling, or popping, a possible sweet chemical smell, then black “smoke” (nanoparticles of heavy metals, not smoke) then white vapour coming from the Li-ion battery or the water craft generally, assume that it is heating and take appropriate firefighting measures.”
● Never charge a damaged battery, and only charge using the correct charger that came with the battery. If it needs to be replaced contact us.
● Charge the batteries strictly in accordance with the manufacturer’s guidelines, and do not charge in a hot environment.
● Avoid any water, especially salt water touching the battery. Never submerge the batteries in water.
● For Fliteboards, an easy way to check if water has entered your battery compartment is to check the side control glass. If water has increased into the battery compartment the glass will show red.
● For both your Audi e-tron foils and Fliteboards, spray the connectors, both on the battery and on the mast connection points with connector spray. This eliminates and dries out salt water on the connectors.
● Always remove batteries from the e-foils at the end of the day and store the batteries in recommended boxes, cupboards or cabinets.
Ocean Premium’s special advisor, Rainer Daniel, is a highly recognized expert in superyacht protection. He owns several patents in the field of protection technology and safety solutions for charging and storing on lithium-ion batteries. He is the CEO of the leading manufacturer of safety boxes to charge and store lithium-ion batteries.
The boxes feature:
● 110/230 volt connection with back-up system for +6 month, in case of power blackout ● Fire-resistant and explosion-proof box housing
● Integrated pressure free extinguishing and cooling system
● Use of an environmentally friendly extinguishing and cooling fluid
● Integrated fire detection sensor system with alarm function
● Integrated exhaust system for filtering the toxins produced by a battery fire
● Extremely low power consumption
● Very lightweight due to the use of a high-tech composite material
A special thank you to Rainer for sitting down with us to talk about this important topic. Ocean Premium continues to be a reliable source of relevant and invaluable solutions for yacht captains, crew, shipyards, and refit yards. Contact us through any of our social platforms, website, or emails to find out how we can assist you with your water toy needs.
Website – www.oceanpremium.com
Sales and General Inquiries – [email protected]
Rentals Worldwide – [email protected]
Repairs, Maintenance, and Crew Workshops – [email protected]
Read the full MCA guidelines effective June 2023 HERE