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Lithium (LFP) explosion Germany, unexplained cause

  • Rob Cardigan
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18 Nov 2023 12:57 #1 by Rob Cardigan
Replied by Rob Cardigan on topic Lithium (LFP) explosion Germany, unexplained cause
Or this one ... 

Rob

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  • Rob Cardigan
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18 Nov 2023 12:20 #2 by Rob Cardigan
Replied by Rob Cardigan on topic Lithium (LFP) explosion Germany, unexplained cause
This document might help ..... 

Regards
Rob

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  • Balliol Fowden
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18 Nov 2023 11:15 #3 by Balliol Fowden
Replied by Balliol Fowden on topic Lithium (LFP) explosion Germany, unexplained cause
Hi Chris and thanks,

An interesting and quite worrying incident. Any updates would be appreciated.

We are just squeezing the trigger on an 8kw solar system (with BESS) for our Rugby house. In quite extensive polling we have obtained some 10 quotes, roughly half of which were discarded immediately because the installer wanted to put the battery in the loft, which doesn't seem much better than a basement! Seemingly that is normal in the UK, but the intention to put a battery in the loft did not seem to suggest that these installers thought too much about the design of their work! Another three wanted to put it in the garage despite the fact that there is a habitable room above and the garage is too remote for the cabling.

My search led me to the Tesla Powerwall 2, which is IP67 and can be installed externally. It seems to be the only battery available in the UK which incorporates a heater and can charge efficiently sub 4 degrees C. 

There don't seem to be any accessible UK standards for the installation of these batteries, the nearest I have found being the Australian standards as per this link.

www.solarquotes.com.au/blog/battery-installation-locations/

There are standards being developed in the UK but as yet I have not felt that these are advanced enough to merit investing in a copy, although I have asked my chosen installer to let me have sight of their copy (if they have one!!):

shop.theiet.org/code-of-practice-for-ele...-systems-2nd-edition

It is interesting that in the German incident the batteries were LFP, which we are being told is safe chemistry. However, perhaps the fact that they came from Alibaba is a clue.

Cynicism aside we luckily have a battery location which seems to fit the bill. On a rendered brick external end wall of the property, well shaded, protected from prevailing winds, at least 3 metres from the next property, well away from accesses, adequately clear of windows and not adjacent to habitable rooms. It also has the advantage of being extremely close to the grid input and main consumer units so perfect for wiring, and the panels are going on the roof directly above. The only concern I have on location is that the gas heating boiler is quite close to the other side of the brick wall but nobody seems worried about that yet. I will probably still build a weatherproof enclosure, and am just considering whether to bolt a steel plate to the wall before the battery is mounted. However, the German incident still makes one wonder whether the battery should be down the garden, as for a bulk LP gas tank!

Unfortunately we are on hold and negotiating at the moment because, despite the Government's desire for us all to be harvesting energy and storing it for them for everybody to use, our District Network Operator will not let us connect the proposed system because their grid isn't up to it! They want me to halve the installed panel capacity even though I am perfectly happy to accept stringent or nil export limitation! That is despite the fact that they would allow me to install a fairly big car charger if I wanted to. If I want to install the full spec. I have to pay the DNO to upgrade their grid!

Balliol.

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  • Chris Rowling
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18 Nov 2023 07:03 #4 by Chris Rowling
Hi all

My battery enthusiast friend was reading an article of potential relevance to us all:
www.pv-magazine.com/2023/10/30/cause-of-...any-remains-unclear/

Explosion without fire.

The comments are interesting given the lack of investigation (basement location, house condemned and considered too unsafe for investigators).  Non compliant batteries/BMS mentioned by someone who sounds like he might know a thing or two (BESS maker and sits on standards committees). 

Let us hope the local authorities can research the cause once the site is made safe, will report back if anything heard.

Regards
Chris

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