A lithium-ion battery energy storage system (BESS) is a technology that stores electrical energy using lithium-ion cells. These cells are commonly found in various common devices like smartphones and laptops. However, they also offer high energy density, longer cycle life, and efficient energy storage in larger applications, such as renewable energy installations and electric vehicles.
These systems allow the capture of excess electricity when demand is low and release it when demand is high, aiding in balancing the electrical grid and supporting renewable energy integration. Lithium-ion battery storage systems play a crucial role in advancing sustainable energy solutions and enhancing grid stability.
What are the Risks?
- Thermal Runaway
- Lithium-ion batteries in Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) can experience cell rupture or thermal runaway. A single cell failure can lead to a chain reaction, causing overheating, fire, and potentially an explosion.
- Overcharging and Over Discharging
- If not properly managed, overcharging or over discharging lithium-ion batteries can cause internal damage, leading to thermal runaway and fire.
- Manufacturing Defects
- Poorly manufactured battery cells or modules can have internal defects that increase the likelihood of internal short circuits or thermal events, ultimately leading to fires.
- External Factors
- Extreme temperatures, especially high ambient temperatures, can cause lithium-ion batteries to overheat. Additionally, exposure to water or humidity can compromise the integrity of the battery and increase the risk of fire.
- Physical Damage and Impact
- Physical damage to battery cells or modules, such as from accidents or improper handling, can compromise their integrity. Even minor damage can lead to internal short circuits and thermal runaway.
What are the Challenges?
Designing a fire detection system for Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) presents several challenges due to the unique characteristics of lithium-ion batteries and the complex environment. Some challenges include:
- Early Fire Detection
- Detecting fires in BESS early is crucial to prevent catastrophic events. However, lithium-ion battery fires can develop rapidly due to thermal runaway. Designing a system that can detect the initial stages of a fire before it escalates is challenging.
- False Alarms
- BESS environments can experience temperature fluctuations, humidity changes, and other variables that might trigger false alarms. Distinguishing between actual fire incidents and false alarms caused by these factors is a significant challenge.
- Battery Variability
- Lithium-ion cells can vary in their chemical composition and behaviour. Designing a fire detection system that accounts for the variability in battery types, sizes, and characteristics while maintaining accuracy is complex.
- Integration with Battery Management Systems (BMS)
- A reliable fire detection system should be integrated with the BESS’s Battery Management System (BMS).
- Harsh Environment
- BESS installations can be situated in challenging environments such as industrial settings or remote locations. These environments can have high levels of dust, humidity, temperature fluctuations, and potential electromagnetic interference, which can affect the performance of fire detection sensors and systems.
What is the Solution?
Li-ion Tamer Gen 3 is an advanced safety solution designed to mitigate risks associated with lithium-ion battery energy storage systems. It employs innovative technology to detect thermal runaway events, preventing fires and explosions.
Li-ion Tamer GEN 3 effectively notifies users about initial indications of deteriorating lithium-ion batteries (LIBs). It achieves this by identifying the emission of battery electrolyte vapours during the off-gas phase of failure. This enables facility managers to take action in response to potential thermal runaway incidents at the initial signs of malfunction.
Moreover, this distinctive detection technology offers temperature and humidity readings at multiple points, enhancing environmental management and overall situational awareness across various applications. Its high scalability further establishes it as an economical choice suitable for installations of modular, containerised, and extensive lithium-ion battery setups.
- Early Warning
- Advanced algorithms provide the earliest detection of Lithium-ion battery off-gassing to allow early intervention of catastrophic thermal runaway events.
- Increased System Visibility
- Fast and simple configuration and monitoring via user interface software reduces commissioning and setup costs.
- Lower Maintenance Cost
- Calibration-free detection with extended product lifetime reduces overall cost of ownership and maintenance.
- Enhanced Environmental Monitoring
- Temperature and humidity detection at each detection node provides granular environmental monitoring of the protected space.
- Improved Event Data Logging
- Increased storage capabilities of the controller gather extensive event logging for more insight during post-event evaluation.
Li-ion Tamer GEN 3 provides a versatile solution capable of adapting to a range of lithium-ion battery systems. It can be used to provide an early warning of Lithium-ion battery failure in even the smallest of applications and can be scaled to accommodate extremely large systems. In a standard setup, a Li-ion Tamer GEN 3 configuration will encompass the following components:
- Monitoring sensors installed at the battery racks to monitor off-gas events.
- Reference sensors installed to monitor the ambient environment and air inlets to prevent false positive signals.
- 1 or more hubs installed local to their respective zone of sensors.
- Controller and Ethernet switch for aggregating sensor signals (optional PoE switches for distributing power to the system).
Why Choose Eurofyre?
- Honeywell Fire Platinum Partner
- Eurofyre is a Honeywell Fire Platinum Partner. This means we can offer regional or industry-specific solution expertise that includes implementation and advanced customer support service models for Honeywell products along with the most competitive pricing.
- Complete System Supplier
- Eurofyre supplies all aspects of fire detection and its associated safety products, including battery rack monitoring systems, and can provide expert advice and consultation.
- Demonstration and Training
- We offer demonstrations and expert training on a range of systems, including Li-ion Tamer rack monitoring systems and linear heat detection, in our very own sophisticated training facility.
- After-Sales Support
- Eurofyre offers both on-site and telephone support to assist you in ensuring that your system is fully functional and operating at maximum efficiency. Our after-sales care and support are second to none.
For more information about Li-ion Tamer or to discuss any of the other products that Eurofyre has to offer, please feel free to get in touch either by phone on +44 (0) 1329 835 024, by email to [email protected] or via the online enquiry form situated on our contact page.