Fire Tests, Battery Recycling In Alaska, System Deployments: June 2019

June 25, 2019 | Updates from the battery industry including new research on fire tests of lithium ion battery-based energy storage systems, retrieval and recycling efforts based in Alaska, and battery system deployments at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton.

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FM Global recently conducted small- to large-scale fire tests on Lithium-ion battery-based energy storage systems (ESS) sized for commercial applications such as manufacturing, office-building power generation and utility use. Lithium-ion batteries are vulnerable to “thermal runaway,” leakage of ignitable gases and subsequent combustion. The research report is useful to inform fire codes and authorities having jurisdiction. It yields specific recommendations for safe separation between full-scale ESS racks and other objects, providing a fundamental basis for evaluating hazards in other lithium-ion ESS configurations. Among the key findings: Sprinklers are effective in delaying or preventing fire spreading to adjacent racks; separation between ESS and other combustibles is essential to effective fire protection; a fire watch should be present until all potentially damaged ESS equipment containing lithium-ion batteries is removed from the area following a fire; and fires involving lithium-ion batteries are known to reignite any time from minutes to days after the initial event. The tests were conducted at the FM Global Research Campus in West Glocester, R.I. Read the report.

Pledging to support the retrieval and recycling of used vehicle batteries from more than 180 remote communities across Alaska, the U.S.-based nonprofit Responsible Battery Coalition (RBC) and the Solid Waste Alaska Taskforce (SWAT), which oversees the Backhaul Alaska program, have signed an agreement to join forces in managing used vehicle batteries in an environmentally responsible manner. The initiative brings together the RBC’s 2 Million Battery Challenge and Backhaul Alaska’s education, training and battery retrieval efforts, and it was formalized in a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two organizations. Press Release

ESS Inc., a leading manufacturer of safe, low-cost and long-duration energy storage systems, announced that it has deployed an Energy Warehouse (EW) long-duration flow battery system at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton in San Diego, California. The 50 kW / 400 kWh battery is integrated into a microgrid with a CleanSpark microgrid controller, and provides up to eight hours of storage to enable back-up capabilities for critical loads; operational energy cost savings through on-site generation with storage; and full islanding capabilities for resilience. The project is being completed in partnership with the project’s prime contractor, Bethel-Webcor JV. Press Release

ASCO Power Technologies has expanded the capabilities of its ASCO 7000 SERIES Power Control System (PCS). ASCO has added Schneider Electric’s Modicon PLCs and Masterpact MTZ Circuit Breakers to its portfolio of switchgear control options. Modicon PLCs offer the following capabilities: clock synchronization between PLCs and peripheral components that enables users to construct detailed timelines for evaluating power events and diagnosing power issues; advanced diagnostics that can trace faults to specific I/O components and ports to speed troubleshooting; standard managed ethernet switches in remote I/O modules for establishing redundant PCS control rings without purchasing additional components; and connectivity to the Schneider Electric EcoStruxure environment. All 7000 SERIES PCS can now be equipped with Schneider Electric Masterpact MTZ breakers. Product Brochure [PDF]

Ice Energy, the leading provider of distributed thermal energy storage solutions, announced that it has signed an international distribution agreement with leading global electrical and engineering company, Fuji Bridex Pte Ltd. Under the agreement, Fuji Bridex will market, install and service Ice Energy’s commercial and residential Ice Bear systems across Singapore, Japan, Australia and Southeast Asia. Press release.