DNV & Dutch Emergency Services to Open Battery Safety Test Lab
DNV and the Twente Safety Region, the consortium of emergency services and municipalities responsible for public safety in the Twente region of eastern Netherlands, today have announced their plans to open the unique safety testing laboratory for battery systems. The new Battery Safety Lab is intended to stimulate the future safe development of battery systems. Located on the Twente Safety Campus (in the eastern part of the Netherlands), the new lab will carry out safety testing on complete battery systems for grid-connected storage and electric / hybrid ships. In addition to commercial and R&D testing and certification of systems entering the market, the lab will perform destructive testing to perform root cause analysis in finding out why and how battery systems fail. These data will contribute to the development of new standards to improve battery energy storage system safety. Safer products give emergency services time to get to incidents, enabling them to handle the incident reducing its effect on life, property and the environment. At the same time, it will help emergency services to develop new, improved protocols for dealing with fires and other incidents resulting from battery system failures as these protocols are simply not in place yet.
Construction of the new laboratory will commence in Q3 2021 with the first tests expected to start in Q2 2022. The lab will offer design evaluation, fire propagation and fire suppression testing to validate manufacturers claims, as well as certification against the IEC standard released in 2020. In addition, the lab will offer power failure investigations to determine the root causes of battery system failures in the field.
Energy storage will play a key role in the transition to a cleaner, greener energy system based on renewable energy. Consequently, the global market for energy storage is expected to grow 55-65% per year for the next five years. Hence it is critical that energy storage systems operate safely. However, while the individual battery cells that make up such systems are typically individually certified as safe, there are big challenges in integrating them into a safe overall system – as evidenced by the number of large fires at grid-scale energy storage systems in the last two years.