The burning concern of energy storage
How can energy storage providers mitigate fire risks?
By 2030, the global energy storage market is expected to grow 15-fold. With policies impacted by recent developments in the US and Europe, those markets are expected to grow by 13%, accelerated by the global transition to a net-zero future by 2050.
It's no secret that businesses are on a mission to prioritise sustainability in their operations. However, the question of how energy storage providers can best mitigate fire risks when storing large quantities of energy remains.
Navigating the changing energy landscape
As the world grows, so does energy demand, and the global drive for sustainability has already put pressure on global energy storage. There is a clear unprecedented increase in demand to lift the global storage capacity, inevitably introducing fire risks that must now be addressed.
But how do we begin to address these risks?
What are the risks and how to avoid them?
When it comes to energy storage, batteries are often the biggest fire risk. If the heat generated within a battery exceeds the amount of heat dissipated to its surroundings, the energy stored in lithium-ion batteries can release explosive and toxic gas.
This is a result of thermal runaway releasing all the thermal and electromechanical energy stored in the cell, leaving people and facilities within its radius in serious danger.
A lack of regulation
Unfortunately, there currently isn’t any legislation governing the security of energy storage systems anywhere in the world. The best way to assure fire safety is still being discussed by various governments and insurers because the worldwide trend towards sustainable electrification is still in its early stages. As a result, this information hasn't yet been extensively implemented into the market.
A small number of manufacturers and suppliers in the United States have chosen to abide by some advisory standards, such as UL 9540, which is the industry standard for energy storage capacity. Yet, despite Europe's continued expansion of its own energy storage capacity, these requirements are neither mandated, strictly enforced or applied globally.
Without clearly outlined criteria that is enforceable by law to assure best practise safety precautions, the choice will frequently come down to cost and many battery storage facilities will search for the least expensive options.
The short-term solution to high costs is to choose a lower-quality system that might not be appropriate for addressing the specific dangers associated with batteries or even to forgo choosing a solution entirely. The cost of the risk, once a fire takes place, will almost always outweigh the cost of choosing the proper system at the outset, therefore there is a clear price trade-off in the long run.
Overcoming risks to ensure a safe and green future
Many different cutting-edge alternatives are currently being tested, including sprays and powders. While these might be able to douse the initial flames of a battery fire, they frequently fall short of effectively stopping the thermal runaway process or removing the safety danger.
A brand-new, distinctive detecting solution is required. The most efficient and environmentally friendly strategy to reduce these risks is with an early fire warning system and targeted spot cooling prior to thermal runaway. By suppressing thermal runaway before it fully takes hold, this will decrease the possibility of a fire, poisonous gas emissions and explosions.
In order to effectively cool the battery during its venting stage—the initial step of the thermal runaway process — and stop the fire from spreading, this solution must be constructed inside the energy rack.
A growing risk
Operating and living as sustainably as possible is essential for our planet's future, but doing so safely is vital for preserving everything and everyone on it. As battery and energy storage technology advances, safety must focus on early risk detection using the most effective, tailored detection solutions, which immediately implement spot cooling measures.
For more information on protecting energy storage from risks, get in touch here.