Fires caused by battery energy storage systems are a significant concern for developers and manufacturers, as well as local fire departments. Due to this risk, Energy Storage Response Group recommends engaging first responders prior to beginning any battery project.

Communication among project team and fire professionals helps reduce friction, accelerate project deployment and ensure safety. Projects should also implement ESS fire systems, which include fire detection, fire suppression, and venting systems. These systems can be designed to detect fires quickly and activate fire suppression systems to reduce or eliminate harm to people, property, and the environment. 

Fire suppression systems for advanced protection should be implemented to ensure the safety of both the storage system and surrounding environment.

1. Increased Safety

Battery energy storage systems are an effective way of storing renewable energy for future use, and are becoming more prevalent across homes, facilities and power grids alike.

Lithium-ion batteries pose a fire hazard through thermal runaway, in which cells overheat and produce flammable off-gases that become increasingly difficult to extinguish over time. If left uncontrolled early enough, this condition can result in complete system failure.

In order to prevent this from happening, several safety design features should be considered when installing a battery energy storage system. These include:

2. Reduced Risk of Damage

Battery energy storage system fire suppression in your home or other facility can help significantly lower the risk of fires occurring, but it's essential that you understand all associated risks associated with these types of fires.

Lithium-ion batteries possess unique characteristics that make them difficult to extinguish. For example, breached cells may release flammable vapors which reignite fires quickly.

As such, when fighting fires with battery energy storage systems it is imperative that water be used wisely - particularly if your BESS is located in an area without ready access to clean drinking water.

3. Increased Value

Battery energy storage systems are an indispensable technology for harnessing renewable resources like wind and solar, providing a steady supply of electrons during times of peak and dip demand for electricity.

These initiatives also assist the integration of renewables with inflexible energy sources to provide reliable power during outages or grid instability, known as peak shaving. Peak shaving can lower both costs and emissions.

Even with its many advantages, battery energy storage systems do not guarantee immunity from fires. Therefore, fire services must understand their potential risks and how best to address them.

4. Increased Energy Efficiency

Battery energy storage systems installed in buildings allow buildings to store power when electricity prices are lowest - typically during the night - and use it later when rates increase - known as "peak shaving", saving building owners and occupiers substantial sums of money in electricity costs.

However, storing electricity on-site poses fire and explosion hazards that building owners and occupants should consider before opting to utilize this green energy source in their facility.

One such fire safety technology is a sensor system which can detect smoke or heat in battery enclosures before thermal runaway occurs, adding a layer of fire protection infrastructure within any building where battery storage systems reside and helping prevent fire spread.

5. Reduced Electricity Bills

Energy storage systems have become an essential element in keeping the electrical grid stable, helping balance demand and supply. Furthermore, they serve as backup power during blackouts or severe weather events, giving our power grid the stability it needs for operation.

Price reductions of up to 85% have made battery prices affordable to most households and enabled widespread adoption of house batteries.

As a result, batteries are increasingly being installed in homes and other facilities to store solar energy during the day and use it at night - known as peak shaving - significantly lowering electricity bills.