The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recently released NFPA 855, Standard for the Installation of Stationary Energy Storage Systems, the first comprehensive collection of criteria for the fire protection of ESS installations. The standard, which began in 2016 and is now finalized after more than 600 public inputs and 800 public comments were received, provides requirements based on the technology used in ESS, the setting where the technology is being installed, the size and separation of ESS installations, and the fire suppression and control systems that are in place.
Per industry expert Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewable, global deployment of ESS will expand 13 times in size over the next six years (2018-2024), with the greatest growth occurring in the United States and China. Certain ESS technologies can pack a lot of energy in a small envelope, which makes these technologies useful but also increases fire and life safety hazards such as the release of toxic/flammable gases, stranded energy, and increased fire intensity. These potential threats are driving the need for first responders and those that design, build, maintain, and inspect facilities to become educated and proactive about ESS safety.
“NFPA 855 is the culmination of several years of extensive consideration and dialog at technical committee meetings, educational sessions, and workshops attended by a broad spectrum of professionals,” said Christian Dubay, P.E., vice president and chief engineer. “Understanding how to safely use ESS is important to many different segments that NFPA serves – designers, engineers, builders, manufacturers, enforcers, responders, and policy makers.”
In addition to looking at where the technology is located, how it is separated from other components, and the suppression systems in place, NFPA 855 considers the ventilation, detection, signage, listings, and emergency operations associated with ESS. Current editions of NFPA 70 and NFPA 1 also contain extensive requirements for ESS fire safety.
For more information, visit the NFPA website.