Battery Energy Storage System (BESS)

Fire and Explosion Protection for Lithium Ion Batteries

Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESSs) may include hundreds of lithium ion batteries within an enclosure (often a shipping container) which are used to capture excess energy generated in solar farms, wind farms, data centers, hospitals and more. While most BESSs have onboard battery management systems, these do little to protect against the worst-case scenario, which have proven to be deadly as seen at an Arizona power generation facility in April 2019.

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THE PROBLEM – HOW DO LITHIUM ION BATTERIES CATCH FIRE AND EXPLODE?

Battery malfunctions

Thermal runaway occurs

Affects nearby batteries

Consumes entire rack


Source: Arizona Public Storage

  • A malfunctioning lithium ion battery may go into “thermal runaway,” as its internal temperature quickly exceeds its normal operating range and begins to burn
  • Explosive gases, such as hydrogen, are then released as a byproduct of thermal runaway
  • Nearby batteries will likely also enter thermal runaway, causing a dangerous chain reaction
  • The greater number of malfunctioning batteries, the greater the risk of a catastrophic fire or explosion

FIKE’S SOLUTIONS

BESSs may be protected in various ways, which ultimately depend on:

  • BESS’ proximity to urban areas, workers or other critical assets
  • Concern of preserving the enclosed batteries
  • Available budget
  • Owner’s preferences (example: gaseous agents instead of water mist fire suppression)

Therefore, several “layers of protection” are available which range from the mitigation of a catastrophic fire to the prevention of a catastrophic fire.

  • Containment
  • Required in all BESSs
  • Venteo de explosión
  • Base Level Prevention
  • Choose one detection and one suppression
  • Detección de fuego
  • Traditional Heat/Smoke Detector
  • Imágenes térmicas
  • Supresión de incendios
  • Watermist - DuraQuench® (recommended)
  • Gaseous Agents - 3M™ Novec™ 1230 Fire Protection Fluid or FM-200® (Class C Fires)
  • Premium Prevention
  • Choose one detection and one suppression
  • Detección de fuego
  • Li-ion Tamer Localized Gas Detection
  • VESDA with XCL Gas Detection
  • Honeywell Analytics Industrial Gas Detection PHO IMG
  • Supresión de incendios
  • Watermist - DuraQuench® (recommended)
  • Gaseous Agents - 3M™ Novec™ 1230 Fire Protection Fluid or FM-200® (Class C Fires)

Download the Application Guide

By submitting this form you agree to be contacted by Fike for sales and marketing support.