Tech Zone

Fire Tech Roundup: Safer Storage for Lithium-ion Batteries and More

Firefighters and technology

Honeywell Fire and Nexceris Partner to increase safety for facilities storing lithium-ion batteries

Lithium-ion batteries are an energy source of great potential. They have been responsible for enabling the use of modern technological devices and equipment, are environmentally friendly, and are propelling a global energy storage industry that is projected to grow more than 10-fold by 2024. However, they also present a challenge: They can pose a significant fire risk. To address this concern, Honeywell, a global leader in fire and life safety, and Nexceris, LLC, developer of  Li-ion Tamer® lithium-ion gas detection solutions, have partnered to address lithium-ion battery system safety. Their technologies will be employed to provide customers with early warning of potential battery failure and the opportunity to mitigate or avoid the effects of the failure.

Peter Lau, president of Commercial Fire for Honeywell Building Technologies explains that adding Li-ion Tamer solutions to Honeywell’s advanced detection product offerings such as the ESDA brand of advanced smoke detection technology will provide customers with “off-gas detection technology and very early warning smoke detection for a safe, redundant way to protect facilities of any scale.” A battery off-gases before thermal runaway or fire.

Kyle Shen, CEO of Nexceris, notes that the Honeywell-Nexceris alliance “offers customers a safer and more reliable way to protect lithium-ion batteries in markets like energy storage.” He adds, “As leaders in our respective areas of detection, we can collectively offer customers innovative ways to protect their facilities and investments.”

The global energy storage industry is projected to grow 13 times its current size by 2024, from a 12 gigawatt-hour market in 2018 to a 158-gigawatt-hour market in 2024, equating to $71 billion investment in storage systems alone.1

The complete Honeywell news release is at www.honeywell.com/newsroom.

1 Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewable, Global Energy Storage Outlook 2019: 2018 Year in Review and Outlook to 2024

Quebec City: Emergency vehicle traffic signal preemption

Quebec City, Quebec, is the first major city in Canada to institute connected vehicle (CV) technology for emergency vehicle traffic signal preemption, according to Applied Information, (https://appinfoinc.com/), developer of Smart Cities, CV, and intelligent transportation system solutions. The technology, which provides for emergency vehicles preemptive green lights at traffic signals, is being installed by Orange Traffic of Mirabel, Canada, Applied Information’s partner on the project. The project encompasses 440 traffic signals and 80 emergency vehicles.

The preemption technology uses LTE cellular vehicle-to-everything (C-V2X) connectivity, with redundant 900MHz radio, which enables the emergency vehicle to command multiple traffic signals in the direction of travel and change the light to or hold it green. Traffic in front of the emergency vehicle is kept moving while oncoming and cross traffic is brought safely to a halt. According to Applied Information, deployments of the technology in other cities have indicated a time savings of about 12 seconds or more per light. The project was scheduled to begin in November 2019 and is expected to be completed by March 2021. More information on the technology can be found at https://appinfoinc.com/solutions/preemption-priority/.

Source: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20191106005283/en

Esri, Figure Eight: Help DoD build AI-based disaster damage assessment tech

The Joint Artificial Intelligence Center (JAIC) of the Department of Defense (DoD) is enlisting technological assistance from Esri (Environmental Systems Research Institute) and Figure Eight Technologies to facilitate assessing the aftereffects of natural and manmade disasters. The companies will develop prototypes for locating victims and evaluating infrastructure. The field artificial intelligence (AI)-based platforms will employ Esri’s ArcGIS geographic information system that employs AI and location intelligence to produce predictive situational awareness data. Figure Eight’s machine-learning platform transforms text, image, audio, and video data into customized training data for a wide range of uses, including search relevance and autonomous vehicles. This undertaking is part of the JAIC’s Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Relief National Mission Initiative.

Source: Nichols Martin, Nov 7, 2019; https://www.govconwire.com/2019/11/esri-figure-eight-team-to-help-dod-build-ai-based-disaster-damage-assessment-tech/

Government Innovation Awards 2019: NOAA, DoD, State of Virginia, and SAIC

Of the 85 projects, individuals, and companies working at all levels of government that garnered recognition in the 2019 Government Innovation Awards competition, the following received Best-in-Class recognition in categories that most closely align with the fire service.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA’s) Big Data Project (https://gcn.com/articles/2019/10/31/psi_noaa-big-data.aspx) won in the category of federal civilian efforts. The experimental phase of NOAA’s project was completed in 2019; the production phase commenced this year. By partnering with cloud service providers, the initiative has made massive data sets available to the public at minimal cost to the agency.

The Department of Defense’s (DoD’s) Stryker Nuclear Biological Chemical Reconnaissance Vehicle Sensor Suite Upgrade (https://gcn.com/articles/2019/10/31/psi_cbrn-sensors.aspx) project team came up with a better and cheaper method for detecting chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear threats in the field and produced a working prototype in 100 days.

The state of Virginia’s Department of Criminal Justice Services’ Framework for Addiction Analysis and Community Transformation https://gcn.com/articles/2019/10/31/psi_virginia-faact.aspx) project protects individual privacy and provides state and local officials with the ability to spot and respond to dangerous trends in opioid abuse in near-real time through the sharing of data anonymously.

Science Applications International Corp.’s (SAIC’s) Internet of Battlefield Things (IOBT) (https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20190926005806/en/SAIC%E2%80%99s-Internet-Battlefield-Things-Solution-Wins-2019) was first in class among industry entries. Through the use of Internet-of-things and related commercial technologies that employ sensors, mobile broadband and networking, cloud computing, and other technologies, SAIC’s “IoBT solution allows warfighters to collaborate near-real time in any operational environment,” says Jim Scanlon, executive vice president and general manager of SAIC’s Defense Systems customer group. “The IoBT solution is housed on ground vehicles in use by the DoD and meets the requirements of the military. The vehicle is customizable and includes features such as a data center, suite of sensors, hardened military communications, and advanced analytics capabilities that can function in any operational environment,” according to BusinessWire.

Information on all of the 2019 Government Innovation Award winners is at GovernmentInnovationAwards.com.

Source: Troy K. Schneider, Nov 07, 2019, https://fcw.com/articles/2019/11/07/gia-best-in-class.aspx/.

Caretaker Medical: Adds ECG Patch to Caretaker® Wireless Continuous Blood Pressure & Patient Monitoring Platform

Caretaker Medical has incorporated VivaLNK’s FDA-cleared ECG Patch to its Caretaker® wearable clinical-grade wireless continuous blood-pressure and patient-monitoring platform. The monitor uses a simple finger cuff to measure real-time “beat-by-beat” continuous blood pressure, respiration rate, and other hemodynamic parameters and maximizes patient mobility. Patient data can be viewed remotely from virtually anywhere by using the Caretaker App or the CaretakerCloud Remote Monitoring Portal or by data integration with other monitoring platforms.

“Our patented Pulse Decomposition Analysis method of non-invasive hemodynamic measurements like continuous beat-by-beat blood pressure provides clinicians with a view of the patient’s mechanical heart function, and VivaLNK’s reusable ECG Patch reveals the status of the patient’s electrical heart function,” explains Jeff Pompeo, Caretaker Medical’s president and CEO. “Combined, the Caretaker monitoring platform now provides a seamless view of both electrical and mechanical heart health, including waveforms, in a completely wire-free, wearable form factor that doesn’t inhibit patient mobility.”

Both the Caretaker wireless monitor and the VivaLNK ECG Patch are FDA-cleared and CE-Mark certified. Additional information is at  www.CaretakerMedical.net/.

Source: Caretaker Medical Corp., PR News Wire, www.prnewswire.com/.

MARY JANE DITTMAR is senior associate editor of Fire Engineering and conference manager of FDIC International. Before joining the magazine in January 1991, she served as editor of a trade magazine in the health/nutrition market and held various positions in the educational and medical advertising fields. She has a bachelor’s degree in English/journalism and a master’s degree in communication arts.