HYBRID CAR TECHNOLOGY AND EMERGENCY PROCEDURES Presented by Oxford Fire-EMS WHAT IS A HYBRID? The dictionary defines a hybrid as something of mixed origin
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Presented by Oxford Fire-EMS
Gasoline engine and electric motor work together to move the car forward
Gasoline engine either directly powers an electric motor that powers the vehicle, or charges batteries that will power the battery
Did you know that the following voltages are currently used in North American passenger vehicles?
Anyone know why some of the voltages on the previous slide are listed in red?
60 Volts can kill you!
20 Volts can be deadly if your skin is wet or your standing in water!
Truth About Hybrids
With the recent releases of hybrids in the 2006 and 2007 model year cars, perhaps the question should be, “Who doesn’t manufacture and sell hybrid gasoline/electric vehicles?”!
The following slides show a majority of the manufacturers and the hybrid models they offer. Many more are due out in 2008 such as a hybrid Cadillac Escalade.
MSRP $26,000 - $28,000
City: 33 – 36mpg
MSRP $18,225 - $32,990
MSRP $18,270 - $27,520
Link to a Large 7MB file. Be Patient.
The “SLEEPING” Car Syndrome:
A hybrid characteristic we MUST be aware of. Normally on a scene we can hear a vehicle's engine running or see its exhaust. Because a hybrid’s gas engine shuts down when the car stops, rescuers can be fooled into thinking the car is off. A rescuer or victim could accidentally hit the gas pedal, causing the car to move and possible injure other rescuers or bystanders.
Remember: Put hybrids in park, remove the key to shut down the system and chock the wheels before you do anything!
Note: Some vehicles feature only an electric button or switch to place vehicle in park
HYBRID CAR NEED TO KNOW EMERGENCY FACTS
The “SLEEPING” Car Syndrome:
Parking Brake Button
Power Button for Engine Start/Stop
Key Fob Receiver
Toyota Prius Dash
Gas-Electric systems use a technology that disconnects the battery power if a difference in voltage is detected. Should the vehicle detect a voltage change, it will disconnect the power feed to and from the high voltage battery.
Example: If the vehicle ends up in water, such as a drainage ditch, the vehicle’s computer automatically shuts down the high-voltage system.
Remember: 20 Volts and wet skin are deadly!
Important: High-voltage systems also disable or disconnect when air bags have been deployed.
Note:We need to start paying more attention to whether or not air bags have deployed. Not only can an air bag decapitate an unwary rescuer, now they can lead to the electrocution of the rescuer!
If the high-voltage cables running under the front of the vehicle were damaged as in a severe crash or fully involved vehicle fire, the high-voltage battery would short-circuit. This would de-energize the entire high-voltage battery circuit.
HIGH VOLTAGE LINES
Avoid cutting high-voltage wires during vehicle rescue. MOST hybrids’ high voltage lines run closer to the center of the vehicle and down toward the rear, where the battery is located. High voltage lines are wrapped in orange loom.
GM Hybrid Pick-up Cutaway
INTERMEDIATE VOLTAGE LINES
Saturn introduced its Vue for the 2007 model year. The hybrid uses a 36V system. The engineers explain that the vehicle’s 36V system is not considered high voltage, the term used is Intermediate Voltage and the lines are wrapped in blue loom, instead of the orangeloomthat is standard for high voltage lines in gas/electric hybrids
After disabling the vehicle, power is maintained for 90 seconds in the SRS system and
5 minutes in the high voltage electrical system.
If unable to perform the recommended disabling procedures, found in the following slides, proceed with caution as there is no assurance that the high voltage electrical system, SRS or fuel pump are disabled!
If you are unable to perform the recommended disabling procedures, found in the following slides, proceed with caution as there is no assurance that the high voltage electrical system, SRS or fuel pump are disabled!
Chock the wheels first!
5) Locate the 12V battery. It may or may not be under the hood. In the Toyota Prius it is located inside the driver’s rear wheelwell within the trunk. Either disconnect or double cut first the negative and then the positive cable. This disables the high-voltage battery controller, which prevents electric current from flowing into the orange cables and the high-voltage battery.
6) With the ignition key turned off and removed and the 12V battery disabled, the hybrid vehicle is safe to work on for vehicle rescue. High-voltage electricity still exists, but it is isolated to the battery pack, generally in the trunk of cars or under the rear passenger seat in pick-ups.
7) An alternative to disabling the 12V battery is to remove the HEV fuse, generally located in the engine compartment junction box. When in doubt pull all fuses in this box.
8) Stabilize the vehicle. Crib at four points directly under the front and rear pillars. Do not place cribbing under high-voltage power cables, exhaust system or fuel system.
9) At this point conventional rescue techniques may be used, including cutting of door hinges, modified dash roll, steering wheel displacement, etc. However caution must be used at all times to avoid cutting any high or intermediate-voltage lines.
10) Should a hybrid be involved in a rollover, end up on its roof, this may prevent access to the engine compartment and disabling of the 12V battery may not be possible. This poses a serious threat. If access to the 12V battery is not hindered, extrication can be handled as in any conventional vehicle rollover.
11) The removal of the roof of hybrids such as the Toyota Prius may be easily accomplished by opening the hatch to gain access for cutting of the pillars. The hatch will need to be opened manually with pry tools because 12V power is needed to open the hatch.
12) Hybrid identification tags are located in the rear and/or sides of the vehicle. Severe impacts in these areas could destroy or hide the identification tags. You must be sure to look for other hybrid identifications, make sure you are aware of the models on the road, and when in doubt assume the vehicle is a hybrid until proven otherwise.
Are Special Tools Needed?
Depends on who you listen to. Most manufacturers don’t recommend any special equipment or PPE. Certified Electric Lineman’s gloves are recommended to be worn by technicians servicing the vehicle.
Some departments are refusing to extinguish fires in hybrids due to the possible dangers.
There was even an extensive number of articles regarding a department refusing to do extrication without special PPE.
Most departments acknowledge the need for awareness and caution and understand that extrication and fire suppression can be handled with very little change from the normal approach used with conventional vehicles.
But for that added safety involving extrication from an electric/gas hybrid check out the following:
11) Should a fire in the Ni-MH HV battery pack occur, the I/C will have to decide whether to pursue an offensive or defensive.
12) If a melted nickel metal hydride (Ni-MH) battery is encountered, the I/C may want the nearest dealer of the vehicle notified to send a designated battery recovery specialist to the scene to deal with the damaged battery.
13) In the Ni-MH Product Safety Data Sheet, responders are advised that virtually all fires involving Ni-MH batteries can be controlled with water. The information sheet also recommends “In case of fire where nickel metal batteries are present, apply a smothering agent such as METL-X, sand, dry ground dolomite, soda ash, or flood the area with water. A smothering agent will extinguish burning nickel metal hydride batteries.”
14) Class D extinguishers are the recommended extinguisher to use with Ni-MH batteries. But…….
15) Not all Class D extinguishers are equal. Some contain particles of metal such as copper. Copper, for example, is one metal that may actually cause an adverse reaction with the high-voltage battery and generate hydrogen gas. In a small space, such as a trunk, this could cause an explosion.
16) Large amounts of water will not be able to directly attack a fire burning inside the battery pack unit itself. The metal cover of the pack prevents a direct attack on the internal cells of the battery. The water application, however, will cool the adjacent battery cells. Burning Ni-MH batteries will burn themselves out. Applying sufficient amounts of water will cool the metal housing of the battery pack and control the fire until the battery modules that are actually on fire burn themselves out. DO NOT EVER REMOVE THE COVER OF THE HIGH-VOLTAGE BATTERY PACK!
17) When water is used to extinguish Ni-MH battery fires, some hydrogen gas may evolve. In this situation ventilation will be needed to prevent a build up of the gas. Leaving the trunk, hatchback or battery compartment cover open is advised to ensure ventilation of the gas. If there is a concern that hydrogen gas is present, and ventilation is not possible, fire smothering agents are recommended.
18) A battery fire WILL produce toxic fumes, including oxides of nickel cobalt, aluminum, manganese, lanthanum, cerium, neodymium and praseodymium. Because of this, SCBA must be worn throughout the fire attack and during overhaul.
18) In addition, keep the “hot zone” clear of unnecessary personnel. Keep all “hot zone” personnel fully protected with structural clothing that addresses Level 3 hazmat personal protective clothing criteria and SCBA.
THE FUTURE OF HYBRID CAR TECHNOLOGY
BMW has emerged onto the hybrid gas-electric vehicle scene with its X3 SUV that features super capacitors instead of batteries to store energy. The “super caps” are located in the rocker panel area of the X3 to give it a low center of gravity. According to the X3 design engineers, “The energy stored in these capacitors should be completely dissipated by the time rescuers arrive on scene to remove a patient from a vehicle” As in other hybrids, these vehicles disable, or in this case dissipate, the energy stored upon collision, but the capacitors don’t retain a charge like battery-powered systems.
LOOK AT THE NEWEST FUEL HYBRID TECHNOLOGY
Know what these are?
Found in Ford E450 Commuter vans at many airports.
Found in buses in Germany since 1998 with tanks stored on top.
STEPS TO SECRURING HYBRID VEHICLE
1. Chock wheels
2. Remove/Find Key
3. Give key to I/C
4. I/C makes general announcement regarding key
5. Locate power button/Shut off power
6. Engage emergency brake
7. Cut negative 12V cable
8. Cut positive 12V cable
9. Do not touch or cut any orange or blue loom!
10. Wait 5 minutes before making any cuts for extrication!