Preventing Hidden Risks in BESS Using PHA Techniques

OSHA’s high hazard chemicals aren't the only chemicals that can cause a process safety incident. In April 2019, a fire and explosion of a Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) at an Arizona electrical substation injured eight firefighters and threw one person over 70 feet. This was a watershed event that led to changes in NFPA 855 and UL 9540A codes. But regulation alone is not sufficient in preventing process safety related incidents. The Electric Power Research Institute has tracked over 50 incidents since 2016. South Korea, a leader in battery manufacturing, had 21 incidents in 2018 alone.

Battery failure consequences fall into two main types; operational impacts and safety and environmental impacts. The most severe of these safety and environmental consequences is a thermal runaway, which can lead to fires, explosions, and releases of toxic gases. The solution to effectively identify and manage the risk is a Battery Hazard Analysis

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