The new NFPA Journal explores the fast-emerging technology of big battery energy storage. Are we ready?

Blog Post created by jesseroman Employee on Jan 14, 2016


According to the U.S. government, market research groups, industry experts, and almost everyone else who is paying attention, battery energy storage systems (ESS) are on the verge of becoming a ubiquitous part of modern life. They will soon be installed everywhere from homes, factories and businesses, to high-rise buildings, homes, urban neighborhoods, business parks, substations, and all manner of spaces and occupancies in between.


The cover story “Power to Spare” in the January/February issue of NFPA Journal, peers into the world of ESS, why the systems are coming into prominence, their uses, and how NFPA, emergency responders, researchers, and others are working to ensure they are deployed into the world safely.


More industries are turning to energy storage either to complement their wind and solar panel systems or to cut their electricity bills by peak shaving. Government incentive programs are making adoption even more appealing. As a result, large batteries of various technologies and chemistries are migrating from substations into homes, offices, and factories. “If you respond to an ESS at a power plant, you understand that going in and you know to be cautious—it has typically been a hands-off approach,” Ken Willette, a former fire chief and the division manager for Public Fire at NFPA, says in the NFPA Journal article. “But when you put ESS into homes and occupied buildings, there is a different risk analysis—you may need to interact with it to contain a fire or make a rescue. Responders are asking, ‘What do I need to know to make that risk analysis?’ It’s about understanding how the system works at a basic level.”


Find out more about what these systems can do, learn about some big projects being completed around the world, and what NFPA and others are doing to prepare for this new technology with vast potential to change the world, by reading “Power to Spare” in the new issue of NFPA Journal.


Receive the print edition of NFPA Journal and browse online member-only archives as part of your NFPA membership. Learn more about the many benefits and join today.