In 2018 and 2019 there were several fires in South Korea that caused the South Korean government to halt all new stationary energy storage system (ESS) deployments and shutdown 30% of the existing ESS deployments (check out the South Korean Battery Failure infographic here).
For those located elsewhere than South Korea, it was easy to dismiss these failures as a lack of attention to safety. But when well-publicized failures, such as the Arizona Public Service battery fire and the Liverpool battery fire, come to light it becomes much more difficult to dismiss these events as outliers. In fact, many of Li-ion Tamer’s biggest customers have approached us after having battery fires in the field and most of these fires are not publicized at all.
What have we learned to mitigate these issues?
- Codes and standards are a good starting point, but should not be depended on exclusively
Many of the lithium-ion battery failures have occurred after the release of the most recent NFPA, IFC, UL, etc. standards. Advancements in safety have been made since their release and these are not considered.
- Fire suppression is not effective at dealing with thermal runaway
As outlined in the APS Battery Fire Reports, subject matter experts agree that fire suppression is not effective at dealing with lithium battery fires. The cells, which provide their own fuel, have an enormous amount of stored energy and often exceed 1000 deg C when experiencing failure, are not able to be contained by traditional fire suppression techniques. Having the proper delivery mechanism to get the suppression agent to the source of the fire is a very difficult engineering challenge. As pointed by the authors of the APS Battery Fire Reports, the fire suppression is not going to put out a lithium-ion battery fire and this is key to acknowledge when choosing how to design your energy storage system safely.
- There are existing products for diagnosing the stages of the battery failure which are retrofittable and can help mitigate thermal runaway
The Li-ion Tamer Rack Monitor is a solution that detects one of the initial stages of battery failure. The Li-ion Tamer system is designed to detect the first cell venting, which enables thermal runaway prevention and catastrophic failure mitigation. The solution is easily retrofittable because it is implemented at the system level, not the cell or module level.
Let us help make your technology safer.
Fire suppression is not going to put out a lithium-ion battery fire and this is key to acknowledge when choosing how to design your energy storage system safely.
Why should I retrofit my ESS with Li-ion Tamer?
The Li-ion Tamer solution:
- Detects earliest signs of abuse and failure
- Is easy to install and low cost
- Can be customized to any lithium-ion battery application
- Mitigates thermal runaway
- Provides actionable insight
- Works with all battery chemistries
- Has an extended lifetime of 10 years
- Does not require in-field calibration