Electrical safety guide for battery systems


Monday, 16 July, 2018


Electrical safety guide for battery systems

The Clean Energy Council, the Australian Industry Group, CSIRO, the Smart Energy Council and the Consumer Electronics Suppliers Association have developed a a new best practice electrical safety guide for battery systems.

The Best Practice Guide: Battery Storage Equipment — Electrical Safety Requirements will work in tandem with a risk matrix to provide important guidance for professionals installing energy storage units. The risk matrix will help professionals working with battery storage technology to identify and manage any risks and ensure a safe installation of battery systems.

Clean Energy Council Director of Smart Energy Darren Gladman said the new guidelines for battery products would put Australia “at the head of the pack worldwide” when it comes to battery product safety. “The best practice guidelines for battery products released this week combine the best of international and US standards, along with a few other belts and braces,” Gladman said.

“They are the result of consultation and collaboration across the energy storage industry and beyond, including input from CSIRO, Australia’s leading scientific research organisation. The safety of consumers should always be the first priority, and it is has been great to have the storage industry working together in this spirit as batteries increase in popularity,” he said.

“There is now a robust Australian system of standards and guidelines in place for batteries being installed in Australia. What is missing is this framework being a prerequisite for state and federal government battery programs. The clean energy industry is working with all governments to ensure this framework is in place to protect consumers as the rollout of battery technology accelerates,” Gladman said.

The guide applies to lithium-based battery storage equipment and includes suggested safety requirements for:

  • Battery module (BM) is one or more cells linked together. May also have incorporated electronics for monitoring, charge management and/or protection. Battery modules are installed within pre-assembled battery system equipment or pre-assembled integrated battery energy storage system equipment or as part of a master/slave configuration of such equipment.
  • Pre-assembled battery system (BS) is a system comprising one or more cells, modules or battery system, and auxiliary supporting equipment such as a battery management system and protective devices and any other required components as determined by the equipment manufacturer. A BS system does not include a Power Conditioning Equipment (PCE). Pre-assembled battery system equipment comes in a dedicated enclosure. The equipment is a complete package for connection to a DC bus or DC input of a PCE.
  • Pre-assembled integrated battery energy storage system (BESS) is a battery energy storage system manufactured as a complete integrated package with the PCE, one or more cells, modules or battery system, protection devices, power conditioning equipment and any other required components as determined by the equipment manufacturer. Pre-assembled integrated battery energy storage system equipment is supplied in a dedicated enclosure. Integrated battery energy storage system equipment is a complete package that has AC output for connection to the electrical installation.
     

This guide covers battery storage equipment with a rated capacity of equal to or greater than 1 kWh and up to and including 200 kWh of energy storage capacity when measured at 0.1C. Products can comply with this guide by one of four mandatory methods that are detailed in the guide. Each method has different primary and secondary safety standards as well as additional requirements that equipment must meet to be compliant.

Optional criteria for manufacturers and importers to show that they have processes and procedures in place that are over and above the current minimum requirements are also provided. This will help manufacturers and importers differentiate themselves from the competition and continue to improve the safety standards within the industry.

Products that meet this guide show a consistent level of safety and should give customers confidence that these products can be safely installed and operated in or outside their house. Devices that comply with this guide will have protection against many hazards that may occur during normal or abnormal operation of this equipment.

The guide will be reviewed on a regular basis to determine ongoing suitability and relevance. Users of the guide should ensure they have the latest version of the guide to reference.

The guide and associated risk matrix are online and available for download at batterysafetyguide.com.au.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/tiero

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