BAM tests large ESS

Test of a lithium-ion battery at the BAM test site in Brandenburg, Germany.

The Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM) is setting up a large-scale test facility to test stationary electrical energy storage systems up to 500 kilowatts. Until now, such storage systems have usually only been tested in laboratories. The tests are intended to make the technology safer and improve the market opportunities for German products, said the agency.
In the future, large Energy Storage Systems (ESS) would be increasingly used. The systems are to absorb surplus energy from wind and sun and feed it into the power grids as needed. They would also become more important for decentralized supply in residential buildings in the future.
Experience from other countries where the expansion of EES is already more advanced shows that fires can occur in such storage facilities, according to a statement. Thousands of lithium batteries are installed in EES. They were characterized by a particularly high energy density. »If a so-called thermal runaway occurs in a single module, toxic gases such as carbon monoxide or hydrogen fluoride are released in addition to large amounts of heat,« the technicians explain. The substances posed a significant hazard to firefighters and other emergency personnel. In addition, »thermal runaway of individual components can lead to the failure of entire storage facilities, which, in addition to far-reaching economic consequences, also affects the electricity supply.« The project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

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