Intilion, a battery storage manufacturer based in Paderborn, Germany, presented its first indoor commercial energy storage, with a unique fire protection feature, at the Smarter E trade show in Munich earlier this month.
Although relatively rare, fire hazards in lithium-ion batteries are an important issue. By fine-tuning existing technologies and introducing new safety features, battery manufacturers are seeking to dispel customer concerns and meet rigorous safety requirement standards in markets across the world.
In the German market, battery systems for indoor use need to meet certification standards set by VDE, including the requirement that no fire can propagate between neighboring battery modules.
To this end, Intilion has designed an additional mechanical housing to go around each module. In case of an internal cell short circuit or mechanical damage, the protection housing ensures that the surrounding modules are protected against fire propagation while any gases released are being directed through special exhaust ducts to ensure optimal outgassing and cooling effects.
In other words, the special air ducts achieve supersaturation of escaping gas, which prevent ignitable mixtures and additionally spark extinguishing chambers. The fire risk is therefore limited to a single battery module, and there can be no open flames or explosion. In addition, the Intilion system includes a tray beneath the modules to collect any leaked electrolyte, preventing contamination of groundwater.
The system therefore meets the safety requirements in the German application guide VDE-AR-E 2510-50 for stationary storage systems with lithium-ion battery cells. The manufacturer also claims the new fire protection feature facilitates the usual coordination with property insurers and fire departments and protects against follow-up investments.
“With our new fire protection option, we ensure maximum safety,” says Manuel Schmidt, business unit manager of the energy storage product line at Intilion. “We are convinced that we will succeed in becoming one of the largest providers in Germany and Europe in the field of indoor commercial storage.”
Intilion, a wholly owned subsidiary of battery technology company Hoppecke Carl Zoellner & Sohn GmbH, launched the indoor commercial storage system Scalestac in Germany, Austria and Switzerland in June 2021. The flexible system is intended for public utilities, municipalities, industrial companies, businesses, and farmers and can be expanded from 25 kVA to 400 kVA and is available with a capacity from 123 kWh up to 1 MWh.
The charging and discharging power can be selected from 0.3 C to 2 C. As the storage unit is only 2 meters high, it fits through any standard door and can also be installed in rooms with low ceilings. The fire protection housing is retrofittable to the existing Scalestac systems.
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