As renewable energies are, for the most part, intermittent, their storage is a key issue in order to coordinate production and consumption. In addition, the growing number of devices operating in a mobile environment has increased the need for energy storage. In order to adapt to these evolutions, Gesip has established itself as a reference player in the accompaniment of actors towards a better control of risks adjacent to industrial energy storage systems.
After describing the different types of energy storage, their operation and their prevalence, the risks associated with their installation and maintenance/repair operations will be discussed.
Learn more about energy storage systems
The challenges of ESS (Energy Storage System)
The issues of risk and prevention that revolve around energy storage are both a challenge and a major opportunity for industry, as well as for society as a whole, whether it is a question of ensuring the necessary ecological and energy transitions, or meeting the ever-growing need for energy autonomy.
Presentation of Energy Storage Systems
An energy storage system is connected to the power grid to smooth out intermittent production and the rates of change inherent in renewable energy sources.
These systems are mainly based on lithium-ion battery technology. However, today there are different energy storage technologies:
- Mechanical storage: storage by pumping (STEP), storage by compressed air (CAES), inertial storage (flywheel);
- Thermal storage: storage by sensible heat, storage by latent heat, storage by thermochemistry or sorption;
- Chemical storage: storage by hydrogen, storage by methane;
- Electrochemical storage: supercapacitors, electrochemical accumulators (lithium-ion batteries).
These industrial energy storage systems can be found in a variety of locations:
- Wind farms or solar farms,
- Industrial sites with renewable energy production,
- Close to RTE power station, hydroelectric...
It is common for EHSs to be installed in multiple containers in the same area within electrical energy storage sites with typical infrastructures relying on:
- an EHV electrical link between an EHV substation and the storage site,
- a VHT/HV electrical transformer station,
- a set of HV transformer stations,
- a set of containers equipped with inverters to convert the DC energy from the batteries into AC current from the electrical network,
- a set of containers equipped with lithium-ion storage batteries.
Each container has an assembly of modules that can store a total of up to 2.5 MWh of energy at either 1000 V DC or 1500 V DC depending on the battery type. Each battery module consists of a series/parallel combination of Li-ion cells.
Industrial energy storage systems, what are the risks?
The different risks specific to SSEs
These systems present strong constraints with containers as well as risks specific to each type of EHS:
- thermal risks resulting from the ignition of gases during the thermal runaway of a Li-ion battery;
- electrical risks resulting from contact with a conductive part ;
- toxic risks due to the emission of toxic gases when the battery undergoes a thermal runaway.
- risk of explosion with the emission of flammable gases during the thermal runaway of a Li-ion battery.
The main prevention modules concern connection/disconnection devices located in the control room where the various battery management components, i.e. the battery management system (BMS), are also located. Depending on the model, the ESS can be equipped with detection systems, fixed or semi-fixed extinguishing systems or pressure relief hatches.
Risks and prevention of industrial energy storage systems, Gesip expertise
With more than 70 years of experience in the field of industrial risk prevention, our industrial safety expert group has acquired solid expertise in risk management.
The combination of capitalized knowledge and full-scale infrastructures enables Gesip to offer high value-added services, including training on industrial energy storage systems, their risks and preventive actions to remedy them.
As such, we offer a training course "Industrial energy storage systems: risks and prevention"The aim of this course is to teach those involved in an industrial or logistics site (operators, PPE, ESI, auxiliary firefighters, industrial firefighters) and the firefighters of a fire and rescue service what to do in the event of a fire on an EHS energy storage system, in particular by detailing the means of fighting and protection.