—Sponsored article by CSA Group
The arrival of Energy Storage Systems (ESS) is helping solve a long-standing problem in the power sector—decoupling generation from consumption of electricity. System operators need the flexibility to store energy and dispatch it when required, and ESS can enable that. ESS also helps communities reap the benefits of clean power and make the grid more resilient by providing reliable back-up power during outages. These advantages are why ESS are among the fastest growing electrical power system products, but as a relatively new technology, it is critical that steps be taken to ensure safety is embedded into the design, testing, installation, commissioning, operation, maintenance, and decommissioning of these systems.
RISKS TO MITIGATE
While battery-based ESS is a proven and attractive technology, it can present safety hazards by itself or in association with other complex electrical systems. These include fire, explosion, leakage of electrolytes, venting of combustible and toxic gasses, burns from excessive temperature, as well as the potential for electrical shock and arc flash. Pressure, noise, moving parts, and sharp edges can pose mechanical risks. Toxic or hazardous substances are sources of risks related to chemical exposure, and unsafe chemical concentrations can present physical injury, explosion, and fire hazards.
A thorough understanding of ESS safety requirements and proper application is essential to help ensure risks are effectively identified and addressed to meet safety requirements.
HOW TO ADDRESS ESS SAFETY
All participants in ESS projects are responsible for safety, and playing a role in each of the four steps of ESS evaluation and testing during the inspection or certification process to help ensure risks are effectively considered. This process begins in the design phase and continues right through manufacturing, installation, and operation & maintenance.
KEY STANDARDS YOU NEED TO KNOW
To effectively manage safety risks associated with battery-based ESS projects requires an understanding of the following key standards in addition to various national, state, and local installation codes:
HOW CSA GROUP CAN HELP
CSA Group has extensive technical expertise in ESS evaluation and can help you identify, understand, and properly apply the applicable standards and codes to ensure product conformity. We are a world leader in testing & certification of primary and secondary batteries, as well as power conversion devices and other electrical system components.