Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) are a relatively new and emerging technology, with all forecasts pointing to exponential growth.
GE Grid Solutions were responsible for building one of the largest BESS projects in the UK to date, a 41MW grid-scale facility in Bloxwich, West Midlands, which became operational in Q4 2018. The in-building BESS, providing standalone energy storage, is connected directly to the grid as part of a capacity contract with the National Grid. This contract was awarded to the owners and operators of the BESS, Arenko Cleantech.
GE appointed Nobel Fire Systems to provide fire protection to the BESS, to qualify for which Nobel had to undergo a rigorous audit and selection process. The battery type was Lithiumion, which poses particular fire risks (please see our dedicated BESS fire protection brochure for details). Nobel recommended using the Stat-X condensed aerosol fire suppression system as a principal solution, the potassium-based suppressant working in a similar way to gas but, unlike gas, the aerosol remains in suspension for up to an hour providing extended postfire security again re-ignition.
If activated, Stat-X results in minimal disruption to the protected asset, ensuring the BESS can continue to operate and respond to energy demands from the grid. Also, using this type of fire suppression solution as opposed to a sprinkler system avoids the associated water damage to the equipment and site.