Innovation Challenges

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Challenge Owner(s) Land Transport Authority (LTA)
Organiser(s)
Singapore Civil Defense Force (SCDF), Enterprise Singapore, Land Transport Authority (LTA)
Industry Type(s)
Circular Economy & Sustainability, Digital/ICT, Infrastructure, Land Transport, Urban Solutions
Opportunities and Support Opportunities to co-develop solutions with LTA and SCDF for fire protection system in carparks
Application Start Date 2 September 2022
Application End Date 14 November 2022
Website Click here to learn more

About Challenge

With increasing adoption of electric vehicles (EV), there will be need to ensure safety of users, public and properties. Active fire protection system will be beneficial to building owners, equipment owners and also fellow users in preventing and mitigating incidents propagation for stationary EVs. Importantly, there are also increasing economic opportunities for such a market that is expected to grow beyond $20Bilion globally by 2030. The objective of this challenge or programme, will be to explore and investigate potential new solutions with our local SMEs, in detecting, preventing and mitigating fire incidents for parked EVs.

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Challenge Owner(s)Land Transport Authority (LTA)
Industry Types(s)
Circular Economy & Sustainability, Digital/ICT, Infrastructure, Land Transport, Urban Solutions

Land Transport Authority (LTA)

In recent years, Singapore has seen multiple battery-associated electrical fire cases that led to tens of thousands of dollars in property damage and loss of human lives. These fire cases affect the livelihood and impact public opinions and acceptance of new battery-related technologies such as Electric Vehicle (EV). As Singapore’s EV adoption journey is still in its nascent stage, we have yet to experience any cases of EV fire. However, globally, multiple EV fire and propagation instances have cascaded, causing mass damages. Hence, it is critical to review and implement relevant mitigation measures to minimise the risk of EV fire.

The common root cause of EV fire happens when damaging the high voltage circuitry or damaged batteries that short, triggering a thermal runaway and igniting. EV fires have similar heat release rates to Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicles. [1] However, EV fires may have a higher rate of occurrences for parked vehicles either by spontaneous ignition or during charging. Statistics from the National Fire Data Centre and US Fire Administration [2] show only ~1% of vehicle fires occurred in parking spaces, including garages. Conversely, report Tesla fire statics shows that ~21% of car fire occurs spontaneously or during charging when the car is parked. For an urban city like Singapore, with high-density multi-storied carparks, underground parking and commercial/industrial parking, the EV fire may pose an additional risk as the propagation of the fire will spread to surrounding property and can cause a cascade effect.

Currently, the sprinkler system is being installed every 12m2 of carparks (except for mechanised car parks). However, there is no existing solutions deployed in Singapore car parks to prevent EV fire propagation. To understand the challenge of EV fire, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that fires in electric and hybrid vehicles require both more water and longer extinguishing time than conventional car fires. In their work, extinguishing hybrid cars required 1-4L of water and a quenching time of 15 – 56 min, while quenching BEV fires required 4-10L of water and a quenching time of 36 – 60 min. By comparison, a conventional ICE car fire is normally extinguished within 5 min. [3]

[1] P. Sun et al, “A review of battery fires in EV”, Fire Technology, 56, 1361 (2020)]
[2] H. Boehmer et al, Modern Vehicle Hazards in Parking Structures and Vehicle Carriers]
[3] R. Bisschop, O. Willstrand, F. Amon, and M. Rosenggren, ‘Fire Safety of Lithium-Ion Batteries in Road Vehicles’, 2019.

With an expected increase in the likelihood of car park fires, it will be important to look for a cost-effective and high efficacy system that can prevent, reduce, or mitigate EV fires and its damages to properties and potentially injuries or death.

What We Are Looking For

  • Existing sprinkler system, avg S$6.85/sqft (USD$5/ sqft ) each lot is 180 sqft = S$1233 per lot. (This cost excludes water storage/pump system and fire detector system that can vary based on the coverage and complexity of the system. (excluding maintenance cost)
  • Cost per lot should be limited to 1 – 1.5 times of existing cost. Est S$1233 to S$1850 per lot. Solutions for other larger lots (e.g. for HGV, buses) may be scaled according to the area.
  • Cost should be reflected as the whole system, from detection to mitigation.
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Innovation Call Briefing Date

19 Sep 2022 10:00 AM (GMT +8)

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