DNV and NY-BEST Upgrade Fire Safety Testing Facilities at New York Battery Test Laboratory

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Equipment in the center. Picture: DNV.

The DNV Testing and Accreditation Group has added new capabilities to assess the thermal runaway behavior of battery cells at the testing lab it manages in Rochester, New York.

DNV said yesterday it has added a battery cell burn and abuse test facility to the Battery and Energy Storage Technology (BEST) Testing and Commercialization Center, which is owned by the New York Battery and Energy. Storage Technology Consortium (NY-BEST).

NY-BEST is an industry trade association and technology advancement group that was established in 2010. In addition to market leadership activities such as advocacy for laws, regulations and policies to support the energy storage inside and outside New York City, the group’s activities include providing testing and commercialization services, supporting prototyping, and promoting R&D collaboration and knowledge sharing.

The new Burn and Abuse facility is a controlled and safe test environment for testing the thermal runaway behavior of battery cells. It can test cells under extreme conditions that can cause thermal runaway, a major cause of the rare fires that lithium-ion battery storage equipment can experience.

Overheating, nail penetration and electrical abuse that cause short circuits are among those conditions and DNV said its tests provide insight into cell safety as well as what happens when thermal runaway occurs. product: the gases that are released during these events and what is their flammability and composition.

The center can perform customizable tests with a fast turnaround time, including UL9540A combustion tests. This and other tests can be used to verify that products can be used safely in the field, or to troubleshoot issues during product development to make cells more resistant to fire and explosion.

The facility is accredited to ISO 17025 for testing and calibration laboratories and several million hours of battery testing have been recorded since it opened in 2014, offering other services such as cycle testing. life, solar and storage system tests, warranty evaluations, performance measurements and modeling of new applications, modeling of storage applications connected to the network, etc.

DNV Energy Systems Regional President Richard S. Barnes said that with the large-scale deployment of battery storage systems, a “backbone of the energy transition”, it will become increasingly important to ensure battery safety as systems are deployed in an increasing number of homes. , businesses and cars.

DNV says its lab can test cells up to 300 Ah, larger than what is possible at many other testing facilities. He said the Arizona Public Services (APS) utility has become one of its first customers, performing thermal runaway tests and gas and flammability analyzes on cells that will be used in 663 MWh of battery storage facilities in its service area.

APS made industry headlines in 2019 when its McMicken Grid-Scale Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) installation sparked a fire and explosion that injured four firefighters. A subsequent technical report on this incident prepared by DNV identified the root cause as an internal fault in a battery cell, causing its thermal runaway in an enclosed space.

Many industry best practices have since been updated as a result of this report. Fires remain rare and no injuries have been reported at the handful of network-wide storage facilities since the McMicken incident, but many industry sources have noted that all that is happening can undermine confidence in energy storage and anything that turns out to be lethal could hold back deployment in many areas.

“The excellent testing capabilities and the quality of the DNV staff gave us great confidence in the results. These tests are an important contribution to ensuring the safety of our BESS facilities, ”said Daniel Clark, APS energy innovation advisor, of the new facility.

“It has been great to work with DNV, not only with the people at the BEST test center who performed the tests, but also with the advisory staff at DNV who helped us develop our safety standards and run reviews of. safety design, explosion and flammability studies. “


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