The Salt River Project, a 10 MW energy storage project that uses lithium-ion batteries, was dealt a blow last week when a fire broke out. Firefighters were alerted to a fire at the facility last Monday. During a press conference on Thursday, a spokesperson for the Chandler Fire Department confirmed that there was a battery on fire in the building, but that sprinkler systems had been able to control it.
Three years ago Peoria, Arizona fire fighters learned the hazards of battery fires first-hand when a fire at a battery facility left four fire fighters injured. Because the SRP facility had been smoldering for days, the fire fighters used an abundance of caution before entering the building.
Keith Welch, Battalion Chief at Chandler Fire Department said, “We took a defensive strategy and for us that means we’re not going to open the door and go in without personnel to take a look because we know some of the potential hazards of the battery degradation and the off-gassing and the different hazards that can cause.”
Due to potentially hazardous gases leaking from the building, businesses in the area were asked to evacuate Thursday night, as the robot opened the doors and entered the facility, allowing the gases to dissipate. The next day the robots were sent back in to measure gases before firefighters could enter.
Salt River Project was announced in 2018 in conjunction with AES with the energy storage solution supplied by Fluence. The plan for the project was to provide power to SRP customers during high peak demand periods, and the project would also serve as an initiative to learn more about grid-scale battery storage. SRP customers have had no interruption in service as a result of the fire.
An AES spokesperson said it’s too early to speculate on the cause.
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Low mass lithium batteries are critical for things that move (planes, trains, autos, etc.). Locking up this valuable material for stationary storage is foolish…not to mention an obvious safety risk. Utilities: Chose storage systems more wisely–from abundant materials that don’t require fire protection (Ambri, etc.).
The country of Australia is debating on an outright ban of all Tesla Walls plus and and all other lithium ion battery storage units for solar in all Australian residential homes due to the extreme fire hazards, and hazmat hazards. These are fires that are almost impossible to put out. Dangerous old firefighting foam, massive amounts of wet sand or wet graphite are about the only ways to extinguish these fires. Halon was banned years ago, by the EPA. We are being sold a bill of goods with The New Green Deal. It’s a another of many boondoggles that is being sold to the public as another panacea for a very over-exaggerated climate crisis. 95% of the population are totally ignorant to all of the risks, unreliability and especially the massive hazardous waste issues involved with all of this renewable nonsense. One of the etchants use in making solar panels is 17,540% worse than carbon emissions. It breaks down into a host of other toxins in the highest layers of our troposphere and it takes over 700 years to become inert. It also produces acid rain, along with the fluorocarbons, chlorofluorocarbons & fluorosilicates. Then there is a laundry list of heavy metals that cause neurological damage. Add to that you a redundant system to work when there is no sun or wind, and it’s just laughable. Will the technology get there? More than likely, yes, but it’s not ready to be implemented yet. IT IS A BGIGER DISASTER IN THE MAKING THAN FOSSIL FUELS, MUCH BIGGER! Europe went headlong into solar and wind, and wound up dependent on Russian natural gas. They ARE going to go back using coal. They can make coal gas and gasoline from lignite coal.
The risk of large scale lithium-ion battery grids catching fire is covered in this post.
The fire prevention direction that was proposed in this post reveals to implement real time monitoring that would allow predicting thermal failure. The gases and thermal abnormalities control methods were introduced in recent publications.
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