IEEE-PSES Chicago Chapter Mtg/Pres: Residential LI-Ion ESS and Fire Service Response
August 23, 2023 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm CDT
As the implementation of residential energy storage systems has steadily increased, and is forecast to increase by orders of magnitude, the US Fire Service will necessarily respond to an increasing number of incidents involving Lithium-Ion (li-ion) Residential Energy Storage Systems (RESS). Responses to residential incidents involving lithium-ion batteries have presented new challenges to fire fighters and their experiences to traditional “routine” fires.This presentation will provide an overview of two research projects that provide the fire service with size up and tactical considerations, relating to the response to a house fire involving a RESS.
First, UL Solutions and the IAFF partnered under a working agreement with the US Department of Energy to evaluate fire scenarios involving li-ion RESS. Four tests were conducted at the UL Solutions large-scale fire test lab in Northbrook, IL, which included a baseline fire test using only Group A commodity. The subsequent three tests evaluated underventilated fire and battery gas accumulation scenarios and utilized representations of code-compliant li-ion RESS installations. The goals of the tests were to evaluate the effects of RESS thermal runaway and fire involvement on compartment fire dynamics, explosion risks to responding fire fighters and occupants of the home, and impacts of fire fighter ventilation.
Second, the presenter will also discuss follow-up UL Fire Safety Research Institute (FSRI) testing which further evaluated hazards resulting from NCA and LFP chemistry li-ion battery thermal runaway gas releases in a typical residential attached two car garage.
The presenter will share results of these two projects as well as the tactical considerations for responding fire fighters that have been developed with the project advisory panel.