Battery storage safety-causes and avoidance measures
Promoting the construction of new power systems is an inevitable choice for the development of national power grids. In China, the new power system is expected to be basically completed by 2030; By 2060, a new power system will be fully built. The new energy power generation will account for 25% in 2030 and 60% in 2060.
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The volatility, intermittency, randomness and anti peak shaving characteristics of wind and solar new energy will cause the power system to face new challenges of reliable power supply and safe and stable operation. This article will analyze the factors causing battery storage safety accidents and put forward relevant feasible suggestions.
Lithium ion battery storage safety is a worldwide problem
New energy storage refers to other new types of electrochemical energy storage, physical energy storage and electromagnetic energy storage technologies besides pumped storage. By the end of 2021, China’s new energy storage capacity was 2.4GW, accounting for 12.5% of the total installed capacity of energy storage, of which the lithium ion energy storage will account for 89.7% of the new energy storage.
It is currently the fastest growing, most widely used and relatively mature new energy storage technology route. However, the fire and explosion accidents of lithium-ion battery energy storage power station have become the main obstacle restricting the large-scale development of battery energy storage.
According to statistics, from 2011 to 2021, there were more than 50 energy storage safety accidents in the world, among which the top four are: more than 30 accidents in South Korea, more than 10 accidents in the United States, 4 accidents in China and 3 accidents in Australia. The lithium ion battery storage safety is a worldwide problem, which has also become a security problem in the construction of new power systems.
Analysis of factors causing battery storage safety accidents
Through the analysis of more than 50 battery storage safety accidents in the world, it is found that the main factors causing the accidents are as follows:
Thermal runaway of lithium ion battery
The internal short circuit of the lithium ion battery caused by the quality defect, mechanical damage, heating or external short circuit of the single energy storage battery led to the thermal runaway fire of the battery. Under the effect of heat abuse, the entire battery module and battery cluster were ignited or even exploded.
Circuit fault of energy storage system
The current carrying busbar, wire, circuit board and signal wire in the energy storage system lead to electrical insulation failure, short circuit and other faults due to quality defects, mutual influence between components, external conductive liquid ingress and other factors, causing local high temperature, igniting surrounding combustibles or causing battery thermal runaway, leading to fire.
Inadequate system operation monitoring, control and protection
The thermal management design and cooling management strategy of the energy storage system were improper, and the monitoring and analysis of the system temperature, current, voltage, insulation, etc. were insufficient.
In case of any abnormality, the system failed to timely pre alarm and take appropriate protective measures. The fire and explosion prevention technology failed to play an effective role, leading to the expansion of the battery storage safety accident.
Inadequate operation and maintenance management
The lack of operation and maintenance procedures formulated according to the operation characteristics, strategies, laws, etc. of the energy storage system, the failure to formulate reasonable maintenance strategies, and the failure to timely discover and eliminate equipment hidden dangers eventually led to battery storage safety accidents.
Methods for promoting research on intrinsically battery storage safety technology
As the widely used lithium battery uses combustible organic compounds as electrolyte, there are safety risks such as combustion and explosion, so we need to develop intrinsically battery storage safety technology.
● Increase research on new battery material system. Research on energy storage ontology technology with long life, high safety and low cost;
● Increase the research on intrinsically safe energy storage technologies such as iron chromium flow battery, sodium ion battery, solid lithium battery, and further improve the technical economy;
● Research on advanced energy storage system integration technology of megawatt to 100 megawatt intrinsically safe;
● Accelerate large-scale demonstration, verification and popularization.
How to break through the technical difficulties of lithium ion battery storage safety
● Trigger mechanism
Reveal the trigger mechanism and dynamic diffusion evolution mechanism of battery thermal runaway at different device levels, and develop thermal runaway barrier technology and comprehensive disaster hazard assessment technology;
● Battery sensing technology
Deeply study battery sensing technology, develop battery status detection technology, and achieve multi-dimensional perception fusion of battery energy storage status monitoring and early warning during the whole life cycle;
● Research of fire battery storage safety technology
Strengthen the research and development of fire battery storage safety technology, and develop fire fighting and explosion suppression, emergency disposal and rescue and other fire safety equipment;
● Battery energy storage system integration technology
Accelerate the research and demonstration of battery energy storage system integration technology, and form a battery energy storage system integration scheme with active and passive safety technologies.
How to strengthen the construction of battery storage safety standard system
● Battery storage safety standard system
Establish and improve the battery storage safety standard system for the whole process of energy storage power station from design, construction to operation and maintenance, as well as the implementation rules for safety evaluation and certification of energy storage equipment.
●Safety design standards
Improve the safety design standards of the energy storage power station based on the layout, fire detection, fire fighting, smoke control and emergency rescue of the energy storage power station;
● Safety specifications and operation requirements
Improve the safety specifications and operation requirements for the construction, commissioning and test of the battery energy storage system to ensure the personal safety of personnel;
● Research on standards
Increase the research on standards such as energy storage safety evaluation, emergency management and fire rescue standards, fire supervision and management standards, and fire extinguishing system test methods for energy storage power stations, so as to provide guidance for fire safety of power stations.
How to strengthen the technical supervision and management of battery storage safety
●Safety technical supervision
Strengthen the safety technical supervision and management of the electrochemical energy storage power station, and curb the occurrence of battery storage safety accidents in the electrochemical energy storage power station.
●Safety technology supervision platform
Establish a cloud side collaborative safety technology supervision platform for energy storage power plants, and use information technology to achieve real-time monitoring of the safety status of energy storage power plants and very early warning of battery storage safety accidents;
●Safety skills training
Strengthen the safety skills training for employees involved in the design, construction, operation and maintenance and test of the energy storage power station, ensure that they are familiar with the characteristics of thermal runaway and fire of the battery storage safety in the power station, and master the operating procedures and emergency disposal procedures of fire-fighting facilities and equipment;
●Fire safety emergency drill
Strengthen the fire safety emergency drill and linkage of the energy storage power station, regularly organize emergency drills such as electrolyte leakage disposal, battery thermal runaway, and fire, and establish a fire rescue linkage mechanism with relevant government departments.
Battery storage safety is the cornerstone of new power system construction. With the strengthening of security technology research and development and security management, the battery storage safety issues of new energy storage technologies will eventually be broken through, and the security and stability foundation of the new power system will be further consolidated, effectively promoting the realization of the “dual carbon” goal.