With the present growth of the energy storage industry, NFPA is actively engaged in a number of initiatives including training, standards development, and research that promote the continued safe and sustainable expansion of this renewable technology.
New classroom training
Energy Storage Systems Classroom Training
Global battery energy storage and solar deployments continue to soar, presenting new emergency response challenges for the U.S. fire service. Thanks to funding from FEMA, NFPA has updated and expanded its Energy Storage System (ESS) classroom training for first responders to include solar safety, new research and testing considerations. NFPA’s ESS training launched in 2015 to provide firefighters with basic knowledge of electrical theory, types of PV installations, and battery chemistries. Educate your department and others in your jurisdiction about failure modes, potential hazards, pre-incident planning, shutdown, thermal runaway, ventilation, and other emergency response procedures.
Contact us today to discuss NFPA’s comprehensive instructor-led classroom training featuring videos, animations, activities, and case studies.
NFPA Standards that address Energy Storage Systems
Research on Energy Storage Systems
Reports: Lithium ion batteries hazard and use assessment Phase I (2011), Phase II (2013), Phase III (2016). From the Fire Protection Research Foundation
Report: Hazard Assessment of Lithium Ion Battery Energy Storage Systems (February 2016) From the Fire Protection Research Foundation
In recent years, there has been a marked increase in the deployment of lithium ion batteries in energy storage systems (ESS). Many ESS are being deployed in urban areas both in high rise structures and single- and multi-family residences. Local Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJs) along with the ESS integrators and installers are challenged by the lack of clear direction on fire protection and suppression in these installations. Without a recognized hazard assessment made available to standards developers, AHJs, emergency responders, and industry, guidance on safe installation of these systems will lack a technical basis. A French translation of the final report is also available. (PDF)
Workshop: Energy Storage Systems and the Built Environment (November 2015)
The application of electrical energy storage systems (ESS) using technologies such as bulk lithium-ion batteries and flow batteries has proliferated in recent years. The intended deployment of ESS in the built environment is focused on occupancies from high-rise structures to single- and multi-family residences. Local Authorities Having Jurisdictions and emergency responders, along with ESS integrators, installers, insurers and others, are challenged by the lack of clear direction on the overall hazard and optimum approaches to address the hazard, including appropriate built-in fire protection measures and emergency responder strategies and tactics.
Report: Emergency Response to Incident Involving Electric Vehicle Battery Hazards (July 2013). From the Fire Protection Research Foundation
- Better Batteries: As energy storage systems (ESS) evolve and as NFPA considers a new standard for ESS safety, research continues in an effort to improve the materials, design, and methodologies that underlie this rapidly expanding technology. (NFPA Journal®, January/February 2017)
- Code Solution: The Federal government looks to NFPA for expertise on energy storage systems. (NFPA Journal®, July/August 2016)
- Decentralization Revolution: As electrical generation and transmission becomes less utility-centric, the NEC keeps pace with a host of new provisions focused on emerging technologies. (NFPA Journal®, May/June 2016)
- Power to Spare: As energy storage systems revolutionize power management, enforcers and responders tackle a host of emerging safety questions. (NFPA Journal®, January/February 2016)
- The Lithium-ion Conundrum: Ignition and reignition issues with the batteries in electric vehicles are also concerns for energy storage systems. (NFPA Journal®, January/February 2016)
- The New New Technology: responder safety and the emergency of energy storage systems. (NFPA Journal®, March/April 2015)
Free online training for the U.S. fire service
To help the fire service handle the unique challenges presented by these new technologies, NFPA developed free online Energy Storage System Safety training for the U.S. fire service, which is also being updated as part of the FEMA grant. The new module is expected to be available in early 2019, but in the meantime first responders and others are encouraged to learn via NFPA’s four hour, self-paced, online program which features engaging videos, animations, simulations, and review exercises.
Watch this series of five videos on energy storage systems to be prepared for the new hazards these systems may pose.
Interested in other new technology response challenges and solutions?
NFPA also has great photvoltaic (PV) systems resources. Learn more about solar energy safety considerations.
Keep learning about green technology by visiting NFPA’s Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) Safety Training program. Find out more about how first and second responders can prepare for incidents involving electric, hybrid, fuel cell and gaseous fuel vehicles on the road today.