Energy Storage Systems
Presented by Lt. Paul G Rogers, FDNY Haz Mat Operations
The rise of green energy is resulting in increased demand for electrical power. This increase in electrical power demand is requiring alternative methods of electrical generation and storage. Energy storage systems (ESS) are proving to be an economical method of storing power. These systems can now be found in residential, commercial and industrial applications. At the same time, firefighters and other first responders need to be prepared to respond to fires and other emergencies involving ESS. This paper will discuss and examine concepts and considerations for the first responder who is called to an ESS incident, and how these can be incorporated into an ESS training program for firefighters.
National laboratories have started preliminary testing on lithium ion chemistries. Research and testing is critical because the collected data is paving the way for fire departments to establish operational procedures to ESS fires and non-fire incidents. The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) has written an ESS first responders training program. There have been documented events in the United States where first responders were poised to respond but due to a lack of knowledge and lack of training on ESS systems were seriously delayed in their intervention which caused additional fire spread and damage. While the risk of fire is a concern, equally concerning is the potential for post-fire events, and these require coverage in any comprehensive ESS first responders training program. Lithium ion chemistries, for instance, have the potential for delayed ignition or re-ignition due to lack of heat dissipation.
Within the ESS awareness training program, the first responder needs to be aware and knowledgeable of different battery chemistries, their inherent dangers and different methods of extinguishment. Ventilation--and its exit points--along with extinguishment complications need to be assessed by the fire inspector prior to installations and these issues should be included in any ESS first responder training program. Toxic smoke emissions which are potentially corrosive and explosive should be addressed within fire departments operational procedures. As ESS deployment continues to proliferate, firefighters need proper ESS training and fire departments should offer this training so their personnel are prepared and ready to respond to fire and post-fire situations.
Lt. Rogers is currently the Haz Mat Operations liaison with the Fire Prevention Department of the FDNY. Additionally, Lt. Rogers has the following experience and credentials; FDNY/NFPA SME on ESS, FEMA Haz Mat Manager, WMD\CBRN liaison to NYPD, FBI, Secret Service and US Marine CBIRF, NFPA 855 committee member (Energy Storage Systems Installation), NFPA 1991,1992,1994 member CPC (Chemical Protective Clothing)
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New England Chapter of the Society of Fire Protection Engineers