When BESS fail, they really FAIL. From uncontrollable fires to releasing hazardous gasses, it is vital that Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) are properly maintained not only for the safety of personnel but what this risk could be really costing.
In this blog, we’ll discuss the dangers associated with failing BESS, as well as how to mitigate risk through sound O&M and documentation (and how Internet of Things (IoT) BESS safety monitoring helps).
How a CMMS Supports IoT BESS Safety Monitoring
A CMMS is a low-cost option for managing maintenance of BESS performance and their components.
However, generally a CMMS alone is not enough. As the IoT landscape continues to evolve, 60Hertz Energy is taking proactive steps in adapting its CMMS into a fully comprehensive, purpose-built operations and maintenance platform for Distributed Energy Resources (DERS).
60Hertz goes beyond resolving issues where most CMMSes fall short. Our impressive suite of features means your business can benefit from improved efficiency, better forecasting, and maximized ROI on assets.
This can be done through data acquisition from your Battery Monitoring System, your other vendor platforms, aggregating safety data, and making it actionable.
Streamline Monitoring of All Your Energy Assets
Monitor energy assets—no matter where you are—with an offline-ready, easy-to-use CMMS.Book a Demo
With a CMMS like 60Hertz, you can keep track of the stored energy in your batteries, and maintain the safety of their electric vehicles and renewable energy sources. It provides near real-time monitoring of Battery State-of-Health (SOH), which is critical for ensuring that the batteries are functioning properly and safely.
Additionally, it can help you identify potential issues before they become serious problems, allowing you to take preventive measures in order to avoid costly repairs or replacements.
Charging and discharging of energy stored in the battery cells can also be monitored by 60Hertz’s CMMS, thanks to collecting near real-time data on stored energy levels and performance indicators from each cell that make up the BESS system.
This information can then be used to ensure optimal operation and avoid power outages or disruptions due to inadequate charging and discharging.
60Hertz’s software can also track maintenance activities and schedule preventive maintenance, ensuring that the batteries remain in optimal condition and the risk of unexpected failures or accidents is reduced.
By monitoring the SOH of battery cells, IoT devices can detect early signs of degradation and alert your maintenance personnel to take corrective action. IoT devices can be used to monitor and adjust BMS parameters in real time, and data collected from IoT sensors can be analyzed and used to keep distributed energy systems running safely and efficiently.
With a CMMS like 60Hertz in place, you and your operations can perform preventative and corrective maintenance activities in order to ensure safe operation of the BESS system.
What Happens When You Don’t Keep Up With IoT BESS Safety Monitoring
Keeping up with IoT BESS safety monitoring is essential for the safe operation of electrical energy storage systems. Neglecting to regularly monitor safety can result in catastrophic consequences, such as damage to property, data breaches, system outages, and physical harm.
Not only can a BESS system malfunction without proper monitoring, but the components that make up the system are subject to high levels of wear and tear. They must be regularly inspected and maintained in order to keep it running safely.
As such, it is essential that all personnel involved in operation and maintenance of BESS systems adhere to industry-standard safety guidelines and closely monitor their status in order to reduce any potential risks.
Despite rigorous safety protocols, BESS has endured a variety of catastrophic failures around the world. From power surges to structural failure and beyond, these events have caused significant damage with lasting repercussions for BESS owners.
An unforgettable case of BESS malfunction stands out: On 20 September 2022, a 730 MWh energy Tesla Module at the PG&E Elkhorn storage facility in California sparked a catastrophic fire which resulted in extensive property damage.
As estimated by PG&E, the total cost of the destruction caused by this BESS failure event is expected to exceed $50,000 USD.
This event serves as a powerful reminder of how quickly and severely unexpected events can occur in energy storage systems and highlights the importance of thoroughly assessing and monitoring battery safety systems within such facilities.
The incident also brings attention to the necessity of proper maintenance practices to ensure that such disasters are avoided in the future.
You Could Be Saving THOUSANDS Every Year On Maintenance
The key? Easy accessible data.Get Started
Why You Should Work a CMMS For IoT BESS Safety Monitoring
By using 60Hertz’s CMMS, you can monitor the charging and discharging of your battery systems including the SOH. Additionally, an insulation monitoring device can be used to detect any insulation issues in the battery cells. This helps to prevent any unwanted incidents that could occur due to faulty batteries.
You can also keep track of maintenance activities and other related tasks that are necessary for ensuring the safe operation of your batteries.
Why a CMMS should be worked into iot BESS safety monitoring:
- Battery fire risk: BESS systems pose a risk of fire due to high amounts of stored energy that can be released quickly and unpredictably. The potential for fire can be exacerbated further by loose connections, damaged cables, and improper installation.
- Inadequate ventilation risk: Poor ventilation around BESS systems can lead to an increase in temperatures which may cause the system to overheat and potentially catch fire. It’s important that BESS systems are installed with enough space away from other combustible materials and with adequate ventilation to prevent this from happening.
- Thermal runaway: When batteries are charged too quickly or too often, their cells become damaged and out of balance, leading them to produce more heat than normal. This raises the risk of thermal runaway—where the excess heat causes an uncontrollable chain reaction resulting in the battery catching fire or exploding.
- Exposure to toxic gasses: If a battery is damaged during use or improperly disposed off, it may release gasses containing hazardous chemicals such as sulfuric acid, lead or lithium ions into the surrounding environment which can have adverse health effects on humans and animals if inhaled or ingested directly in large enough quantities.
- Electrical shock: Improper handling of BESS systems without proper protective equipment can lead to accidental short-circuiting and electric shocks. This can happen if anyone touches any part of the system while it is still connected to a power source.
- Explosion: If not addressed hastily, thermal runaway causes temperatures and pressure to quickly rise and battery cells to rupture, potentially releasing explosive gas that can build up within the BESS.
- Emergency stop: When a safety issue is detected by the maintenance system, an instant controlled shutdown is essential to maintain safe practice.It is important that a manual emergency stop, performed by your on-site operators, is easily accessible even in the event of an incident so that the issue can be isolated and shut down before fire or explosive gasses spread.
- Cybersecurity: This is something you may not have thought about: Protecting electrical equipment from information theft. Damage can be devastating for BESS developers, as misuse of data can disrupt or misdirect existing services or communications.Only trained personnel should have access to BESS and any software used should be reliable and maintain integrity of all routine equipment.
- Regular testing: The best way to ensure safety protocols are followed (and safe BESS operation is guaranteed), you should regularly test the system’s components.
- End of life: Another often overlooked stage of a battery’s life is decommissioning. Lithium-ion batteries contain hazardous materials that need to be correctly disposed of.
The Hidden Price of Neglecting Risk
Energy storage insurance is essential for the protection of lithium-ion BESS manufacturers and commercial battery systems.
These policies cover general liability and products liability, property damage caused by fire or other perils, environmental harm from mechanical breakdowns, lost income due to performance failure in addition to financial risks associated with umbrella/excess coverage cyber threats, and professional errors & omissions (E&O).
Climate-related dangers such as windstorms, hurricanes, and flooding are also taken into consideration when underwritten by engineering professionals who review project technical documents prior to issuing a policy reducing risk levels for owners, contractors, and lenders.
Without proper monitoring and documentation practices, such as those offered by 60Hertz’s CMMS, you risk exposing your organization to major liabilities and may struggle with financial losses due to damages associated with an IoT BESS system failure.
By centralizing essential documentation, asset condition, and maintenance, activities can be leveraged to lower the risk of liability and haggle for better insurance premiums. It is therefore essential that you have a stringent safety and monitoring protocol in place to ensure your devices are functioning properly and remain up-to-date on security protocols.
Highlight Potential Risks—All With Easily Readable Data
Stay ahead of any asset problems with clean, collected data.
The Power of Pairing a CMMS like 60Hertz and IoT BESS Safety Monitoring
In the modern world of industrial operations, the combination of a CMMS and IoT BESS safety monitoring has become an invaluable tool for ensuring safe and efficient operations. Your CMMS is a software system designed to help your organization manage its maintenance activities.
When paired together, these two systems can provide a comprehensive solution for monitoring and maintaining industrial operations in terms of safety and efficiency.
With the help of this pairing, ensure that your assets are being monitored properly while also reducing downtime due to unexpected malfunctions or breakdowns. You save money by preventing costly repairs and replacements. How? By preventing poor maintenance practices.
It’s not just CMMS, it’s O&M.
Integrating a fully dynamic O&M management system like 60Hertz, paired with IoT technology, unlocks a wealth of possibilities for BESS safety and monitoring best practices. Establishing crucial documentation to de-risk liability can be used to haggle for better insurance premiums or even offer cheaper fuel prices per kW through optimizing stored energy.
With localized data and scheduled tasks stored on the cloud, you can now measure and communicate condition changes instantaneously no matter the geography.
By considering the implications of this powerful combination, it’s clear that IoT is an essential component if the BESS industry hopes to sustain its recent growth. Therefore, it is imperative that your developers and operators consider combining their CMMS systems with this revolutionary technology.
Tracking, Reporting, and Monitoring—All in One App
Make tracking, reporting, and monitoring your assets even easier with 60Herts as your all-in-one CMMS, providing offline access, multi-language views, and a mobile app easy to deploy across devices.
Accurate monitoring means saving—money, safety, and more—and that’s where our CMMS can help.