Secure Lithium-ion battery storage using converted shipping containers

We can convert shipping containers to provide safe and secure storage for large Lithium-Ion batteries that can be positioned away from main buildings. In this article we detail some of the considerations we factor in when converting a shipping container for Lithium-ion battery storage use, and some of the benefits when using a shipping container for this purpose.

Lithium-ion or Li-on is the leading rechargeable battery chemistry that’s used in power tools and consumer devices including mobile phones, computers and tablets. Now, Lithium-ion batteries are rapidly becoming the chemistry of choice for batteries in vehicles. This is thanks to their ability to hold twice the energy of nickel-based batteries and some 4-times that of lead-acid batteries.

Also, Lithium-ion batteries do not develop a ‘memory’, have low self-discharge and are environmentally friendly with disposal causing minimal harm.

Lithium batteries are grouped into two general categories primary (non-rechargeable) and secondary (rechargeable). Secondary lithium batteries are comprised of rechargeable cells that contain an intercalated lithium compound for the anode and cathode. Such batteries are call Lithium-ion batteries.

Lithium-ion battery explosion hazard

From a safety perspective Li-on batteries can fail if microscopic metal particles come into contact with other parts of the battery which can lead to a short circuit event.

A mild short will only result in an elevated self-discharge situation. However, a major short circuit can result in a sizeable current flow within the cell leading to increased heat. This basically means that the cell becomes thermally unstable which can lead on to ‘thermal runaway’ which can then lead to ‘flaming’ gases being vented, a fire, or explosion.

To put this into perspective, consumers are advised not to charge a device containing a Li-on battery under their pillow, on the bed or sofa; keep them in the sun and to keep batteries at room temperature. So, when you scale up the size of the battery, you scale up the potential for a sizeable, dangerous, event.

For companies working with this type of battery, safe storage is an absolute must. Severe reactions can cause thermal runaway which leads to the organic electrolyte vaporising which, causes the battery casing to swell. In the worst case, this can lead to the case to fail with flammable and toxic gases being released.

In the case of a venting reaction, where no ignition of the vented gas occurs, for most batteries, the gases given off typically consist of carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, hydrogen and hydrocarbons. These gases present a fire and explosion risk.

In the burning scenario, the electrolyte burns efficiently producing (primarily) carbon dioxide and water. The burning reaction also has a tendency to liberate fluorine from the lithium salt, dissolved in the electrolyte. Typically, the fluorine reacts with the hydrogen to form hydrogen fluoride. The hydrogen fluoride given off is proportional to the energy stored within the battery and can result in dangerous concentrations being emitted.

Hydrogen fluoride also reacts with water (it becomes hydrofluoric acid) and can cause damage to mucus membranes in the human body.

Shipping container conversions for the storage of Lithium-ion batteries

We have one shipping container depot in the UK that has the experience and knowledge to convert shipping containers to provide secure storage for Lithium-ion batteries having produced units for some of the larger OEM’s in the vehicle manufacturing market.

We can convert shipping containers to provide mobile and remote safe storage that are temperature controlled. Theses units also have moisture and humidity control, gas detection and removal systems plus fire containment and alarms and finally, explosion relief.

Shipping Containers can make excellent storage units for hazardous Lithium-ion batteries. These self contained units can be placed away from main buildings and potential hazards on a site, and they can also be moved with relative ease.

As well as providing a very cost effective long term structure for the storage of Lithium-ion batteries, this also means your battery storage unit can potentially move with you to a new site, or it offers the potential for temporary or mobile bulk storage of lithium-ion batteries.

Converting shipping containers to provide safe and secure battery storage is a complex and expensive process. We welcome phone enquiries but, if you have a detailed specification covering your requirements, could you also email mail that to us so we can return a detailed quotation?

Visits to our depot to further discuss your project are welcome by appointment only. offer the UK’s largest online range of shipping containers for sale with a nationwide network of storage and conversion yards and crane equipped delivery vehicles.

If you need a shipping container feel free to browse our online range of shipping containers for sale. You can also call us on freephone 0808 1234 215 any time 9am – 5pm weekdays and our team will be happy to discuss your requirements. Alternatively, you can use our online shipping container quote form or request a telephone callback. In both cases we aim to get back to you within 1-2 working hours (may take longer for more detailed quotes).

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