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Energy Storage System Fire Protection Options: Full Testing Requirements

Posted by ORR Protection on Jan 12, 2021 11:00:00 AM

During the MCFP Virtual Conference series, Rick Reynolds, Vice President of Engineering and Training at ORR Protection Systems, discusses Energy Storage System Fire Protection Options. Part 5 of 5.

Energy Storage System Fire Protection Options

Video Transcript:

The body of the standard, you know, it's very specific. Hey, you got to have emergency planning and training plan now. You know, before you had to have eye wash stations because they were lead acid and some other things. Well, now I've got to have emergency plan because now I've got to have that in place. All right. I got to have replacement plans associated with this.

Signage. Now my signage has all got to change. It used to just have a sign on the door that said battery room or electrical closet. Now I got to have specifics. It has to say what kind of suppression system is in the room and the criteria associated with that.

In the main body of the standard, it actually is going to get specific and large-scale testing must be if you do alternate suppression methodologies. So it's very important, that large-scale testing. If it's an indoor system. Now this is a key chart. If you have an indoor system that the building is being occupied by other things, now, this is what I'm saying, non-dedicated building. So if your building is non dedicated for only, say, we have a data center that is tied to, and we have a UPS in that data center.

So this is a perfect example of all the requirements. And this is in table 4.2. This is a perfect example of all the requirements and the sections that back up those requirements. So this is a good chart for you in the data center environment to take a look at. This backs you up a hundred percent of all your requirements. They did a great job in 855, identifying that with you, for you.

If you decide that, you know what, I'm going to put an outdoor ESS energy storage system, I'm going to put my pod or that particular unit outdoor, I'm going to put it up on top of the roof, or I'm going to put it out out, back and next to my mobile data center, if you will, here is this particular unit that gives you a lot more characteristics.

There's a couple more things that have to be taken into consideration, you know, on both of those. Is smoke and fire detection required? Yes, it is. Is actual fire suppression systems required in both of them? Yes, it is. So I think there's some key characteristics here that you may have gotten away with in the past that now you got to take consideration. So these are some very, very key points and key bullet points that we all have to take into consideration. So another chapter in here that's going to be talking about is exhaust ventilation.

One of the things on exhaust ventilation that is kind of new in 855 that wasn't in before, if you had lead acid batteries, you got to have now LEL detectors in there, but not only do you have to have lead acid LEL detectors. Now, those LEL detectors now, they gotta have, they got to be tied into a remote station or monitored location at all times.

So that's kind of some characteristics there that you need to pin to. You need to validate. So always get with your fire protection provider, if ORR's not them, get with your expert and talk to them and talk through that with them, make sure that everything's right a little bit more about ventilation.

So the next thing is when, when you're looking at walk in and walk in and closures and things like that, that gas detection system that I was talking about, here's some specifics associated with it. Smoke detection and fire detection. All fire systems containing ESS located within a building or structure shall provide with a smoke detection and fire system. So now, now the criteria is all, all systems. Guess what? Now we have to actually meet it according to NFPA 72, it used to not be used to be able to have just all right.

I'm okay. I can get by without it. Now we have to have it in there. Oh, fire suppression. Now we've got to put a fire suppression system in what kind? Well, here's the sprinkler system. Now. Now we've got to put a sprinkler system in, and what's our density point that's 0.3 density over over a square foot, however, and, and, and consideration, don't take that for granted that your sprinkler systems already designed at 0.3 density, that sprinkler system is a higher density rating than typical. So it isn't a carte blanche that all sprinkler systems are the same. So take it into consideration that your sprinkler system may not meet the fundamental background or the fundamental most sprinkler systems may be at 0.2 density instead of 0.3, lot more water. So you need to make sure that your sprinkler system meets the criteria of a higher flow, right? Then what is already there? So a little bit more investigation work like I'm saying, it's not as easy as I want to change this lead acid into lithium ion, take some other precautionary measures. Remember, this is your environment. What we don't want to do is cause a propagation

Or a catastrophic situation where next thing you know, we're all sitting and looking at somebody else. And, Oh man, I wish I would have evaluated that because now I've got a life safety situation and we don't want that again. Just to reiterate one thing, smoke detection is required. Fire detections required spray systems are required. Here's the S the automatic fire control and suppression systems. Now you can use also alternate means of suppression. You can, I can go in and put a clean agent system. I can go in and put a water mist system. That's NFPA seven 50. I can go on and put a different type of system. And I can put in a CO2 system. That's NFPA 12. All those are illegal. But the key factor, if I do that, I've got to meet NFPA 855, four.one dot five, which says I got to do full scale testing.

That's where I went back. And I kept telling you that DNV GL report UL report the national NSPA research foundation report. All of those, you got to make sure somebody has done those testing. It's very important that that testing has been completed. So you got to make sure FPA 12, a Halon 1301 standard has not been tested. I had a client recently come back and tell me, Hey, by the way, I got 1301 in this room, Rick Halon, 1301 was a very good fire suppression agent, but it's not been tested on lithium ion batteries. If we don't know what the criteria is with lithium ion and Halon 1301, we can't truly say that it's going to work, or it's not going to work. So be very careful if you've got a Halon 1301 system, we don't know what the proper concentration is. And I'm going to show you some concentrations that are very unique to lithium ion versus actually other, other suppression methodology.

So it's very, very important that we take in slow down just a little bit, because one formula of concentration, isn't the same. When we look at gas, okay. Back to this testing, it's very important that we look at this, you know, as an example, there's three fire test right there in a row that have been completed. These here were all done for water. Mist water mist is a fabulous, fabulous fire suppression and actual energy storage. There are some very, very good characteristics with fire suppression and water mist. I'd love to be able to ha I can do a whole webinar on water mist and fire suppression and ESS please reach out, contact me, contact the team on this, because I tell you, there is some very, very, you know, it's a very good smoke, scrubbing gas gas filtering atomizing characteristics that has some very good characteristics in that.

And we're doing a lot of webinars on that as well. Today, we're talking about 855 and kind of going through lithium ion Lion's hammer and detection and controls kind of an overview, but I'll tell ya. And also Novec 1230 and, and FM 200, but we're trying to give a big overview, but I'll tell you if you want to get to the specifics water mist does a fabulous job in this area as well. So very good as well as we can do a full one on Novec 1230 and FM 200 as well. All those are independent webinars. So fire suppression, a little bit of screenshots on these. These are very good information. They do good jobs. They're just some unique characteristics of each one. The sprinkler systems are unique, you know, the NFPA report, the research foundation. And when you read that report, you'll see that even in the research foundation report on the sprinkler, they had some trouble suppressing that.

So even the sprinkler at 0.3 density had some challenges and that's not coming from or protection or Rick Reynolds, that's coming from the research foundation. They had some internal challenges trying to suppress that. So matter of fact, they, they thought that the fire was out and they shut the sprinkler down. And then you'll read in the report. If you, if you'd like, I send that copy to you asked me for it. And then they had to turn the sprinklers back on. So because it didn't, it actually propagated and needed to turn it back on. And we only got a couple more slides here and we'll finish up protective lithium, ion electrolytes. This is very, very, very important. I can't stress this enough. This slide came from 3M and I can't thank 3M more. I mean, they're just an awesome partner with.

And you know, or has been in the business a long, long, long time have been, like I said, blessed to be here a long time. 3M provided this slide to me and I want to thank them. And the key to looking at this slide is that there are many, many, many formulas in the chemistry that make up lithium ion batteries, one concentration, isn't the right concentration for every battery. And it's important that we look at every concentration or every battery to make sure that that battery constant, that your agent concentration is the right concentration for your application, the standard concentration for Novec or the standard concentration for FM 200 may not be enough to suppress the actual formula that that battery manufacturer may be putting out there. The Samsung battery may have type of formula that may require that 7.5 formula, if you will.

So you gotta be real cautious and know what type of batteries are being installed there to make sure that you're actually installing the right chemical agent concentration, if, excuse me, you choose to do this. So when we say full-scale test, these here have been tested. They've been cut burner tests. They've invalidated that that concentration will suppress that concentration or that class be liquid, or that, that cocktail, if you will, I keep talking about, it's very important that you look at that. So again, I think it's important that you look at a lot of characteristics here. Lithium ion batteries are very, very complex and they're very, very broad, broad, broad subject. It really is. And I think in this application, this kind of shows you a little bit of how, or looks at those storage units or ESS energy, energy storage systems. You got the lithium, you got the, the, what we would call the Li-ion Tamers here.

You got the what we would call the gas detection in the room. We got VESDA, which is this orange piping. We got a clean agent or water mist system in the room. The green is the clean agent system. We've got a fire panel or recommends these, these devices here be outside of the space, maybe in a, what we would call a sidecar off of this is a pod, put it in a side car off of the side of the unit. So this is just an example of how we have actually done and deployed these. We've been very successful with this methodology, but this is an example kind of an overview of the way that we would deploy this. So but a lot, a lot of data today, and I know I've covered a lot. And and if you'd like to have more information or a independent webinar, I'd be happy to go into deep dives in any one of these products, because every one of them is his own webinar within itself. But I just want to really, really thank everybody for participating.

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