Need To Know Guide RE1 Recommends Off-Gassing Monitors for Risk Mitigation
RISCAuthority and the Fire Protection Association (FPA) has published a need-to-know guide outlining the hazards and risk control recommendations for battery energy storage systems (BESS). Recommendations to minimize the risk or consequences of BESS fires include installation of battery sensor and gas detection technology.
Need To Know Guide RE1 focuses on grid-integrated commercial BESS systems using lithium-ion batteries, typically found on industrial and commercial facilities. The guide introduces BESS facilities and the inherent hazards associated with them and provides important risk control recommendations.
Hazards: The guide outlines hazards such as thermal runaway — a rapid uncontrolled release of heat energy that occurs when a battery cell creates more heat than it can effectively dissipate. Thermal runaway can lead to the release of gases such as hydrogen (extremely flammable), carbon monoxide (toxic, asphyxiant, and flammable), and hydrogen fluoride gas (acutely toxic and corrosive). When thermal runaway occurs, these gases can ignite immediately, or spread out unignited, potentially causing a deflagration or explosion if ignited externally.
Risk control recommendations: The guide states that all BESS installations should be subjected to fire risk assessment and that “property insurers should be involved at an early stage in discussions to agree on a suitable fire strategy for BESS installations.”
Specific risk control measures for critical and significant BESS installations are recommended, including:
“Installation of early detection of off-gases/electrolyte-vapor from thermal runaway events, interlocked to shut-down and disconnect the BESS.”
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Click here to read the Need To Know Guide RE1, published by RISCAuthority and Fire Protection Association (FPA).