Solar battery storage is used to house the rechargeable batteries that store excess electricity generated by solar panels for later use. This technology allows households, businesses and communities to increase their energy independence and reduce reliance on grid electricity. During periods of low solar generation or high electricity demand, the stored energy can be used to power homes and buildings, reducing electricity bills and carbon emissions.
Solar battery storage systems typically consist of a battery bank, an inverter and a battery management system, which work together to monitor and control the flow of electricity between the battery and solar panels.
Lithium-ion batteries, which are commonly used in solar battery storage systems, can potentially overheat and catch fire if they are damaged, exposed to high temperatures or are overcharged. Therefore, it is important to have fire detection systems in place to quickly detect any potential issues and alert the occupants of the building.
What are the Fire Risks?
There are a variety of risks associated with solar battery storage. These include:
- Thermal runaway
- Lithium-ion batteries used in solar battery storage can experience thermal runaway that can cause a battery to overheat, ignite and explode. Thermal runaway can be caused by factors such as overcharging, mechanical damage or exposure to high temperatures.
- Inadequate cooling
- Solar battery storage systems require proper cooling to prevent overheating and thermal runaway. Inadequate cooling can result in increased risk of fire and reduced battery performance.
- Poor installation
- Improper installation of solar battery storage systems can result in loose connections, faulty wiring or other issues that can increase the risk of fire.
- Inadequate Maintenance
- Regular monitoring and maintenance of solar battery storage systems is necessary to prevent issues such as overcharging, thermal runaway or other potential hazards.
- Battery ageing
- As lithium-ion batteries age, they become more prone to thermal runaway and other hazards that can increase the risk of fire. Over time, the battery’s internal components may degrade or become damaged, leading to increased resistance and heat generation.
Fire Detection Challenges
Solar battery storage also presents some unique challenges when it comes to designing a fire detection system to protect them from fire, some of these include:
- Hidden fires
- Fires in solar battery storage systems can be difficult to detect because they may start deep within the battery module, where conventional smoke or heat detectors may not be able to reach. This can make it challenging to identify a fire before it becomes too large to contain.
- False alarms
- Solar battery storage systems can generate heat during normal operation, which can trigger false alarms if not properly calibrated. This can lead to unnecessary evacuations or delays in response time if the alarm is ignored.
- Detection delays
- It may take time for a fire to develop to the point where it can be detected by conventional fire detection systems. This delay can be critical in preventing the spread of the fire and minimising damage.
- Limited access
- Some solar battery storage systems may be located in areas that are difficult to access, such as rooftops or remote locations.
- Solar battery storage systems may be susceptible to electromagnetic interference, which can disrupt fire detection systems and prevent them from functioning properly.
Linear Heat Detection
Fixed Linear Heat Detection (LHD) uses heat sensing cable to detect heat. Once the cable reaches its rated temperature, an alarm is triggered. LHD can provide the ideal solution for environments where traditional smoke detectors may not be effective, such as areas with high dust or moisture levels.
LHD systems are cost-effective, reliable and provide fast detection of fires. It can be integrated with other fire protection systems and monitored remotely for quick response in the event of an alarm.
FyreLine EN54 Fixed Linear Heat Detection
FyreLine EN54 Fixed is a linear heat detection system manufactured by Eurofyre that complies with BS EN54-28:2016, the European standard for non-resettable line-type heat detectors.
It is designed for use in a range of applications, including battery storage facilities, and can support two zones up to 1000m each and can be connected to either a conventional or addressable fire alarm control panel. When a zone is activated, the system’s control panel calculates the distance along the cable to the alarm location, allowing the end user to identify the threat and take appropriate action.
A FyreLine EN54 Fixed Linear Heat Detection system comprises three essential components: FyreLine EN54 Fixed LSZH LHD Cable, FyreLine EN54 Fixed Controller and FyreLine EN54 Fixed End Of Line (EOL).
The EN54 standard is a compulsory regulation that outlines the requirements for fire detection components and alarm systems, and facilitates the free movement of construction products between European Union countries. According to the Construction Products Regulation, it is mandatory for fire detection and alarm equipment to be certified under the EN54 standard by an authorised certification body.
Please note: compliance with EN54-28 requires the use of the FyreLine EN54 Fixed Controller, FyreLine EN54 Fixed EOL and FyreLine EN54 Fixed LSZH LHD Cable as a complete system.
Typical Wiring Diagram
Handpicked Products for Solar Battery Storage
FyreLine EN54 Fixed Linear Heat Detection provides the ideal solution for protecting solar battery storage systems from fire. It offers continuous monitoring to deliver comprehensive coverage of the protected area. Heat sensing cable can be installed around battery racks to detect potential fires during the early stages of overheating and the exact location of the event is reported to the user.
Fyreline Fixed can be configured using interlock mode (also known as coincidence or double-knock) to prevent false alarms. In this mode, two fixed LHD cables are run side-by-side and an alarm is only activated on the fire alarm control panel when both cables trigger. This greatly reduces the risk of false alarm.
A FyreLine Fixed EN54 Linear Heat detection solution for solar battery storage will typically consist of:
Linear Heat Detection Control Panel
The FyreLine EN54 Fixed Controller is a dual zone module capable of monitoring up to two zones of FyreLine EN54 Fixed Linear Heat Detection (LHD) Cable. It monitors the cable for overheat conditions and automatically calculates and displays the distance along the cable to the alarm point when an event is triggered. Each zone of the FyreLine EN54 Fixed Controller can operate either independently of each other or in interlock mode.
Power Supply Unit
The Elmdene STX range of switch mode power supplies are designed for EN 54 compliant fire systems and are certified to EN 54-4:1997, A1:2002 and A2:2006. Elmdene STX power supply units are available in 1A and 2A versions with a range of enclosures to give the installer a choice of standby battery backup options with support for two 12V 1.2Ah batteries and two 12V 17Ah batteries.
Linear Heat Detection Cable
FyreLine EN54 Fixed Linear Heat Detection Cable is a non-resettable line-type heat detector. It uses fixed temperature detection technology to provide a simple method of sensing changes in temperature. With a temperature rating of either 78°C or 88°C, FyreLine EN54 Heat Sensing Cable is suitable for a wide range of applications and environments.
FyreLine EN54 Fixed LSZH Cable with Messenger Wire comes with the messenger wire spiralled around the cable to make the detector cable self-supporting. It is used to install FyreLine EN54 Fixed Linear Heat Detection Cable in areas which may be difficult to access, have large spans to cover or where fixing the cable at the normal recommended spacing (up to 1.5m / 5ft intervals) would be too difficult or time consuming.
Linear Heat Detection End of Line
The FyreLine EN54 Fixed End of Line is designed to effectively terminate up to two zones of FyreLine EN54 Fixed Linear Heat Detection Cable in a secure, weatherproof enclosure. It has built-in switches to simulate fault or alarm conditions to allow the system to be fully tested in situ. It is particularly useful for when the system is used in interlock mode to prevent false alarms. In this mode, two fixed LHD cables are run side-by-side and an alarm is only activated on the fire alarm control panel when both cables trigger.
Linear Heat Detection Mounting Clips & Accessories
The L-Clip can be used to support FyreLine EN54 Fixed Linear Heat Detection Cable below or above the risk. They are most commonly used on flat mounting surfaces and are available in zintec or stainless steel.
The Fyreline J-Clip is a galvanised steel fixing designed to provide additional support for LHD cables. It has provision for a cable tie, ensuring it’s firmly secured to the J-Clip and can be used to support FyreLine Digital, EN54 Fixed and Analogue Linear Heat Detection Cable below or above the risk.
The V-Clip is useful when installing FyreLine Linear Heat Detection Cable onto cable tray installations. The V-Clip is designed to be quick and easy to install by fitting into the cable tray slots without the need of fixings. The FyreLine linear heat cable is then placed within the V channel and secured in place using a neoprene sleeve and cable tie.
Stainless Steel Cable ties are used to secure the FyreLine linear heat cable to the bracketry.
Why Choose Eurofyre?
- Complete System Supplier
- Eurofyre manufactures and supplies all aspects of fire detection including linear heat detection and its associated products and can provide expert advice and consultation.
- Demonstration and Training
- We offer demonstrations and expert training on a range of systems, including FyreLine linear heat detection systems, 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 EN54 Fixed Linear Heat Detection, 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.