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Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS)

Battery Energy Storage Sytems, or BESS, are increasingly common components of renewable developments, particularly solar PV.

This is because the electricity generated, particularly with solar PV, is done at a time that electricity usage is lowest. Peak times of the day for electricity use are in the morning when people are waking up, and in the evenings, when people are cooking their dinner and settling in for the evening. Peak times of the year for electricity consumption are in the winter when heating goes on.

However, despite the proliferation of BESS around the country there is still no UK safety standard for large-scale BESS. One exists for small domestic installations, and it is rather rigorous, but nothing for shipping containers full of them.

Further, many of the developers are light on the details in planning applications when it comes to the specific type of batteries they will use and the chemical composition.

It is clear from the Merseyside BESS explosion and fire in September 2020 that, whilst the probability is low, a major hazard is dotting itself around the UK, and there are many more safety precautions that could be taken.

BESS Failure Event Database

This is a public resource for documenting publicly-available data on battery energy storage failure events from around the world.

https://storagewiki.epri.com/index.php/BESS_Failure_Event_Database

BESS Articles & Research Papers

Concerns over ‘noisy’ battery storage facility – April 2022 – https://gloucesternewscentre.co.uk/concerns-over-noisy-battery-storage-facility/

Inspecting safety at BESS manufacturing facilities – April 2022 – https://www.pv-magazine-australia.com/2022/04/30/weekend-read-back-to-the-future-with-bess/

Hazardous Substances potential of BESS – March 2022 – https://www.researchgate.net/publication/359203817_Hazardous_Substances_potentially_generated_in_loss_of_control_accidents_in_Li-ion_Battery_Energy_Storage_Systems_BESS_storage_capacities_implying_Hazardous_Substances_Consent_obligations

UK FIRE Magazine – February 2022 – https://ukfiremag.mdmpublishing.com/putting-in-place-fire-protection-measures-for-lithium-ion-battery-energy-storage-systems/

INFACTNI Written Evidence – March 2021 – https://committees.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/23583/default/

A Review of Lithium-Ion Battery Fire Suppression – published October 2020 – https://www.researchgate.net/publication/344448023_A_Review_of_Lithium-Ion_Battery_Fire_Suppression

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