US organizations publish manual on energy storage safety


From pv magazine USA

IREC and the International Code Council have published the Energy Storage Systems Guide as part of the Clean Energy Clearinghouse‘s Training for Safety Officials series. The guide is meant to serve as a high-level, non-technical training reference for fire and explosion risks. It provides key standards for equipment and installations (along with applicable hardware codes), and describes inspection techniques for energy storage systems.

One chapter on fire risks in lithium-ion storage systems describes how fire events develop, and includes a breakdown of the 2019 APS battery fire in Arizona. The chapter discusses risk-mitigation techniques that can be integrated at multiple levels of battery construction. It also discusses the tools and safeguards integrated into battery systems, such as smoke, flame, and gas detectors, as well as fire-control panels and fire-suppression systems.

The guide lists 24 unique battery standards. While all of these standards are necessary, five of the standards are described as “most relevant and applicable for the majority of modern ESS applications,” including NFPA 855, UL 9540, UL 9540A, NFPA 68/69, and IEC 62933.

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The handbook includes a table of the applicable sections of various installation code books, including the International Fire Code, the International Residential code, the International Building Code, and the National Electrical Code. Of course, not all codes are applicable to all projects. It ends with a series of checklists, and the “Basis of Requirement” that drives the actions in the checklists. For instance, the first item in the “Document Submittal Checklist” is the Commissioning Plan – whose Basis of Requirements is the IFC 1207.1.3. The other checklists are the “Utility-Scale BESS Enclosure Inspection Checklist”, the “UL 9540A 4th Edition Unit Level Report Checklist”, and the “Residential or Small Commercial Packaged BESS Inspection Checklist.”

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