Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) predicts that the global energy storage market will grow to a cumulative 942GW by 2040, attracting a huge $620 billion in investments. This makes sense, given that combined wind and solar power generation capacity should eclipse that of natural gas shortly after 2040 (as indicated by IRENA – the International Renewable Energy Agency).
Most energy storage systems (ESS) utilise lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries and are the primary infrastructure for wind turbine farms, solar farms, and peak shaving facilities where the electrical grid is overburdened and cannot support the peak demands.
However, there are several hazards associated with ESS. One of these is fire – there are many stories of laptop and cellphone lithium-ion batteries catching fire. ESS contain tens of thousands of battery cells and as a result, a fire becomes a potentially catastrophic threat in these environments. One of the main causes of fire in Li-ion batteries is something known as thermal runaway, effectively an unstoppable chain reaction, where the temperature rises rapidly within milliseconds and the energy stored in the battery is suddenly released. Temperatures of around 400°C are thus created, the battery becomes gaseous, and a fire erupts which is very difficult to extinguish.
The Stat-X condensed aerosol fire suppression product, distributed by Technoswitch, is one possible solution for fires in ESS and battery energy storage systems (BESS). The Stat-X aerosol product was tested for efficacy in putting out Li-ion battery fires. This testing was conducted in parallel with a large battery fire testing programme. Fireaway, the manufacturer of the Stat-X aerosol product, contracted with DNV GL for testing to have its Stat-X product line included in the programme. The conclusions of the test were that the Stat-X agent successfully extinguished single and double cell battery fires and due to its residual nature, prevented a re-flash of the fire.
Advantages of Stat-X aerosol systems for lithium-ion battery hazards and for general fire hazards, include:
• The hazard area does not have to be airtight. Calculations allow for non-closing openings.
• Residual Stat-X aerosol in hazard area after discharge prevents re-flash typical with Li-ion battery fires.
• Stat-X systems are bracket mounted within the hazard on the ceiling or walls taking no valuable floor space within the hazard.
• There is no manifold or piping required, reducing installation.
• Labour and material costs.
• There is no cylinder weighing or hydrostatic testing required.
• The Stat-X generator is an extremely rugged, hermetically sealed, stainless steel canister.
• Ten-year operating life cycle.
• No ozone depletion potential and no global warming potential.
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