How to extinguish a battery storage fire? FUERGY has organised training for firefighters

FUERGY has launched an initiative to educate firefighters and the public about the safe operation of battery storage systems. We organized an event that brought together experts and fire departments to help them further understand and manage the potential threats of battery fires. The event provided firefighters with invaluable knowledge on proper safety procedures.

  • Published: 24. 04. 2024
  • Written by: Fuergy

Battery storage is a key component of modern power systems, allowing efficient storage of electricity for later use. These systems are becoming more widespread and with the increasing numbers, questions are being raised about safety.

Media reports of battery fires, mostly in electric cars or electric scooters, are often alarming. Although they warn of the dangers, the cause of the fires is rarely mentioned. The overwhelming majority of battery storage systems are the result of improper installation and general negligence.

Watch video footage of firefighter training

Firefighter training

Battery fires require a special approach due to the high heat, toxic gasses and chemical processes that can make standard extinguishing methods difficult.

As more battery storage systems are being added to companies and industrial sites across the country, it is important that firefighters are prepared to deal with potential emergencies.

Therefore, at the request of the Presidium of the Fire and Rescue Service in Bratislava and in cooperation with aerosol fire suppression systems supplier FirePro and implementation company Fireblock, we put together an event called Fire Protection of Battery Energy Storage Systems including a tour of our smart battery storage system brAIn by FUERGY in the Tower 115 office building.

Battery Burning

Artur Bajkai from FirePro presented the most commonly used batteries and their properties to the firefighters during the theoretical part of the event, explaining lithium batteries and describing the most common causes of battery fires, including:

  • overcharging,
  • overheating,
  • physical damage
  • and poor battery quality.

He described in detail the combustion process as well as extinguishing batteries indoors vs. outdoors and when a special water container can be used. He also defined the difference between fires from different types of batteries (higher density batteries are not used in indoor installations) and spoke about the importance of reliable battery management systems (BMS).

Artur Bajkai z FirePro

In the event of a short circuit or other malfunction, the BMS system will autonomously regulate the battery cells to prevent a fire. Should a fire still occur, Artur Bajkai from FirePro recommends an automatic aerosol extinguishing system, which stops the chemical processes of combustion and is able to extinguish the battery fire or keep it under control until firefighters arrive.

The advantages of an aerosol extinguishing system are multiple. It is non-toxic, does not pollute the environment and has zero global warming potential (GWP).

Smart battery storage brAIn by FUERGY

During the theoretical part of the event, Eva Almašiová, PR & Marketing Manager of FUERGY, introduced the firefighters to the brAIn by FUERGY smart battery storage, whose primary role is to help stabilize the power grid. This means that our battery storage systems charge when there is excess electricity in the power grid and release energy for consumption when there is a shortage. For helping to stabilize the power grid the battery storage owner gets rewarded.

During the presentation, she talked about how to behave in the area where the battery storage is located, as well as how to safely shut it down in the event of an emergency. She also explained to the firefighters how to proceed when a brAIn battery storage unit is on fire, including the proper way to disconnect a faulty or burning battery module.

Eva Almašiová, FUERGY

She stressed that although there are several reasons why a battery can overheat, which can result in a fire under certain circumstances. The key is to ensure that each battery is properly positioned, has a good quality BMS and, in the case of storage, an efficient energy management system (EMS).

She also pointed out that the FUERGY’s brAIn smart battery storage systems installed indoors use only safe LiFePO4 (also called LFP) batteries from Pylontech with a 15-year lifespan as they meet all the strictest criteria. These batteries are also suitable for brAIn outdoor storage, together with Huawei's LFP batteries.

Batéria od spoločnosti Pylontech

"At FUERGY, we use high-quality, European-certified equipment that meets the most strict fire safety standards. With stationary battery storage, proper installation, monitoring and regular servicing to prevent potential risks should not be underestimated. Last but not least, we recommend a suitable fire extinguishing system that will keep the fire under control until firefighters arrive," added Eva Almašiová.

Tour of the battery storage facility

After the presentations, we took the firefighters on a tour of the battery storage system that we installed in the Tower 115 office building. The building underwent an energy upgrade in 2023, including battery storage installation in cooperation with the energy supplier Slovenské elektrárne - energetické služby s.r.o.

The battery storage is located in the basement of the building. We designed the placement of the batteries, inverters and other electrical components and installed a cooling system in a room that previously served as a transformer cellar. We equipped the room with a professional aerosol fire extinguishing system and placed the distribution switchboard on the other side of the room.

Igor Lukáčik, hardware developer at FUERGY, showed the firefighters the different parts of the storage and demonstrated how to disconnect a faulty battery cell in case of a failure. He also showed the firefighters how to manually switch off the battery storage if necessary.

Igor Lukáčik, FUERGY

Safe operation of battery storage

More than 120 firefighters attended the event, which stimulated interesting discussions and opened up topics that had not been considered before. It also gave us the opportunity to discuss gaps in legislation regarding new types of equipment and to gather practical knowledge that can help in the development of procedures and regulations for extinguishing battery fires. The event also marks the beginning of our initiative to educate the public about the safe operation of battery storage facilities.

The entire training was recorded and will be distributed to fire departments across the country due to the high level of interest.

Want to be part of the energy revolution with our brAIn multifunctional smart battery storage? Contact us today! Our experts are here to help you find a solution tailored to your needs.

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