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BE SAFE! Some dangers specific to battery energy storage systems

Nov. 2022

Energy storage systems are a new option for powering many homes today and can offer many benefits, but along with those benefits come some dangers that need to be considered. And "safety" is also a topic that cannot be avoided in the development of energy storage. Protecting your own safety is the first priority, and electricity safety is very important. The following introduces some unique hazards of energy storage systems and the failure modes that may lead to these hazards. You can pay attention to prevention and take timely measures.


1. Common hazards

Like most electrical equipment, energy storage systems need to address some common hazards as part of operation and maintenance, such as the potential for electric shock and arc flash. These issues should always be considered when working in and around energy storage systems.


2. Thermal runaway

Thermal runaway is the uncontrolled self-heating of a battery. It starts when more heat is generated within the battery than can be dissipated to the surrounding environment. The initially overheated battery then produces flammable and toxic gases, and can reach a high enough heat to ignite these gases.


3. Deflate

Gases released from battery energy storage systems are highly flammable and toxic. The type of gas released depends on the battery chemistry involved, but typically includes the following: carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, hydrogen, methane, ethane, and other hydrocarbons. If the gas is able to reach its lower explosive limit before finding an ignition source, an explosion is possible.


4. Stranded energy


Standard energy is the term used when a battery cannot safely discharge its stored energy. This usually happens after an energy storage system fire is extinguished and the battery terminals are damaged. This presents a shock hazard to those using a damaged energy storage system, as it still contains an unknown amount of electricity. Stranded energy can also cause fires to reignite within minutes, hours or even days of the initial event.


The application time of battery energy storage is not long, and in addition to some avoidable dangers, there are many advantages. We believe that battery energy storage will become more and more safe in the future.