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Mitigating explosive risks in battery energy storage systems

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Energy Global,

The battery energy storage system (BESS) industry deals with flammable chemistry as an area of concern and risk mitigation. Explosive systems remain an issue and refers to situations where the batteries in a BESS can experience thermal runaway, leading to fires or explosions. It is a necessary step to install systems for the prevention and control of explosions within certain enclosures that contain flammable concentrations to ensure safety to surrounding individuals. Common substances in the energy storage industry are highly flammable, and can pose major threats to the safety and usability of battery systems. Having an explosive system puts the integrity of a BESS at risk, while also posing a threat to end users, making it essential to take the proper preventative measures.

The problem of explosive BESS systems exists in environments that contain flammable concentrations, as hazards, such as hydrogen gas release, can enter the air and mix in with gasses, vapours, mists, dusts, or hybrid mixtures – all of which are present within the energy storage industry. The battery chemistry of a BESS can also react when exposed to high temperatures of physical damage, where heat is typically generated during charging and discharging cycles. Having any build-up of gas or flammable substances present can create an inadequate system that increases the risk of thermal runaway.

Having off-gas detectors and vent systems helps to mitigate the chance of flammable chemistry exploding. Off-gas detectors analyse the gas composition in processes to detect potential hazards and trigger system shutdowns to prevent further risks. They act as sensors that continuously monitor the concentration of flammable gases, where any excess amount will trigger safety protocols to stop this build-up. Meanwhile, vent systems work to provide a safe pathway for the release of flammable gases out of the BESS to release the pressure of any gasses within the battery system. This is done through pressure valves, and provides a controlled exit for gases to leave the system.

NFPA 69 and NFPA 68 standards provide guidelines for the safe installation and operation of BESS in hazardous environments. These guidelines include requirements for ventilation, gas detection, and explosion suppression systems to mitigate the risks associated with BESS operations. For example, proper ventilation systems can help to control the concentration of flammable gasses and vapours released during normal operation or in case of an emergency, reducing the risk of explosion. Ensuring compliance with NFPA 69 and NFPA 68 for BESS installations is essential for personnel and facility safety in flammable environments. Integrating predictive measures like gas detection systems alongside preventive measures like ventilation and explosion suppression systems allows facilities to effectively manage BESS-related risks and mitigate potential explosions.

TROES, a North American advanced BESS provider, works to create safe and reliable technology within energy storage. Their battery storage systems are 100% NFPA 69 and 68 compliant, and have integrated off-gas detectors and Vent system technology to mitigate the risk of fires or explosions occurring in energy storage systems. By following comprehensive explosion prevention and control systems, TROES works to better protect against the hazards associated with BESS in high risk environments, ensuring a safer and more secure work environment for all.



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