Safety Leader

NFPA Energy Storage System Explainer Available

Published On
Apr 14, 2021

In January, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) released a new energy storage system (ESS) fact sheet.

Noting that, “With more and more countries, states, and communities putting forth zero emissions deadlines, tax breaks, and other changes, NFPA developed the at-a-glance Energy Storage Systems Safety Fact Sheet to bring the safety considerations of ESS to the forefront,” the resource distills key points that are identified in NFPA’s ESS training, NFPA 855 (Standard for the Installation of Stationary Energy Storage Systems) and a myriad of related materials.

The fact sheet covers:

  • The meaning of ESS
  • The advantages of supplemental service, peak-shaving, load-leveling and uninterruptible power supply
  • Hazards such as thermal runaway, stranded energy, toxic and flammable gases, deep-seated fires, mechanical/thermal/electrical abuse and environmental impacts
  • Designer/contractor considerations for safety, including explosion protection/prevention, fire protection systems, battery management systems and ESS spacing
  • Permitting checklist for authorities having jurisdiction
  • Pre-incident planning and emergency operations planning highlights
  • Additional available resources such as research, other fact sheets and related standards

In addition, the Fire Protection Research Foundation, the NFPA’s research affiliate, is in the process of finalizing an Energy Storage Research Consortium for interested members of the energy storage and fire protection industries to discuss industry-relevant fire protection issues and related research needs.

“As a global organization devoted to eliminating loss from fire, electrical, and related hazards, NFPA is no stranger to clean energy safety,” the organization stated. “Over the past ten years, the Association has introduced groundbreaking training for the fire service and others such as solar energy, energy storage systems, electric vehicles, and flammable refrigerants to ensure that, as communities embrace and incentivize the use of green technologies, first and second responders are well-informed about potential safety issues.”

The NFPA added that policy makers, code officials, manufacturers, designers, engineers, skilled labor and the public also share responsibility in ensuring the safety of people and property.

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